Ashford 5: – Week 4 – Discussion 1
Commutative Justice and Embryo “Adoption”
In Chapter 4 of the textbook, the author examines commutative justice as arising from contractual relationships – a specific contract among particular parties or a broader social contract on which a community or nation is based. He also discusses how the interpretation or enforceability of a specific contract may be influenced by the principles and values that are part of the broader social contract.
At the end of 2012, more than 600,000 frozen embryos are being maintained in cryopreservation storage facilities in the United States. Some of them are the subject of agreements in which one party transfers one or more embryos to another party for implantation. Such agreements may be called “Embryo Adoption Agreements,” although there is controversy over the use of the term adoption since the legal status of an embryo is different from that of a living child. In recent years, there have been a number of legal disputes arising from these agreements. Cynthia Marietta describes one of these disputes, McLaughlin v. Lambert, in her article, Frozen embryo litigation spotlights pressing questions: What is the legal status of an embryo and can it be adopted?
First, carefully read this article. Then, in your initial post, analyze the issues of commutative justice in this case, and apply the principles discussed by both Marietta and the textbook (see Section 4.4). Be sure to consider whether values that are part of the broader social contract (e.g., the U.S. Constitution) may influence how the specific contract between the two couples in this case should be interpreted justly. Consider this case from both sides of the dispute as well as from the perspective of society’s interest in the status of frozen embryos.
Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 whose viewpoints are different from yours. Each peer response must be at least 125 words. Stimulate critical thinking by contrasting your perspective with your classmate’s and explaining yours, or by asking your classmate a question and explaining why your question is significant.