For example, fertility medicine presumes that embryos are not persons; thus permitting a woman to produce more eggs that are ever used to carry to term as a pregnancy. The unused eggs can be destroyed since they are property. However, if an embryo is a person, then does destruction of embryos equate to murder?
If an embryo is a person, can an embryo have inheritance rights? The lower Illinois Court ruling by its logical extension, meant that a zygote created at the moment of conception, having all of the characteristics of a newborn baby is a person.
A state holding that life begins at conception, (or even earlier at the embryo stage as the lower court held in Illinois), would thereby logically be saying that the "owner of the eggs" acts in the capacity of a trustee of a living entity (a Guardian?). If the eggs are not, in fact, property, does the embryo have rights of inheritance, descent and can a state protect these rights of the unborn? I received a comment on my earlier post on embryos from an attorney in Maryland suggesting that this could, in fact be the case.
Do the rights of inheritance to the unborn accrue at every stage of existence from conception onward? As I've previously posted, the state of the law in the majority of jurisdictions that have considered it is that embryos are property. The frozen embryo does not live inside a person and until the embryo becomes a person, it would not seem logical to apply any rights of descent or inheritance.
As a footnote, the Illinois Court of Appeals subsequently reversed the lower state court, holding that Allison Miller and Todd Parrish could not seek damages from the Center for Human Reproduction in Chicago for destruction of embryos. The Court ruled that the law in Illinois does not address in vitro fertilization and the preservation of embryos outside of the womb. The Court ruled that if state lawmakers want to extend the law they need to do it legislatively.