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Court rules on embryo  


2014-05-16 09:15 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

In the first case of its kind, a city court rejected grandparents' claims to a frozen embryo and possible test-tube baby left behind by a couple who died in a car crash, China News Service reported on Thursday.

Embryos obtained through surgery cannot be inherited or transferred, ruled a court in Yixing, East China's Jiangsu province.

When the young couple died, their baby plans died with them, the court decided.

The infertile couple planned to have embryo transplantation surgery at Gulou Hospital in Nanjing in March 2013, but died four days before surgery.

Plaintiff Shen Jun and the parents of his daughter-in-law disputed who owned the rights to continue the bloodline of their respective families.

The hospital, also a defendant, refused to hand the embryos over to anyone, explaining in court that the only way to make the embryo come alive was to transplant it into another woman. The procedure is illegal and in breach of medical ethics, the hospital argued.

The Chinese mainland has no law defining ownership of frozen embryos and the case has generated appeals for the law to keep pace with developing fertility technology.

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