Legal

Litowitz v. Litowitz (2002)

By Jennifer E. Chapman, Mark Zhang

In a dispute over the allocation of cryopreserved preembryos, the Supreme Court of Washington resolved the case of David J. Litowitz v. Becky M. Litowitz (2002) by reaching a decision that neither party wanted. David Litowitz sought to find adoptive parents for two cryopreserved preembryos created during his marriage to Becky Litowitz when the couple was attempting to have children using in vitro fertilization (IVF). Becky sought to implant the preembryos in a surrogate in an effort to parent a child.

Created 2013-12-02

Last modified 2 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

In re Marriage of Witten (2003)

In re Marriage of Witten, decided by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2003, held that neither Tamera nor Arthur (Trip) Witten could use or destroy several cryopreserved preembryos created during their marriage using in vitro fertilization (IVF), unless the former couple could reach a mutual agreement. Tamera and Trip Witten, unable to conceive conventionally during their marriage, had attempted to start a family together using IVF at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, Nebraska.

Created 2014-01-22

Last modified 2 years 4 months ago

Format: Articles

Stenberg v. Carhart (2000)

By Mark Zhang

In Stenberg v. Carhart, the US Supreme Court ruled on 28 June 2000 that a Nebraska law banning partial birth abortions was unconstitutional. Though the US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973 had set a precedent that constitutionally protected abortions, some states established limitations on certain types of abortion procedures. When NebraskaÕs state government criminalized partial birth abortions, physician LeRoy Carhart challenged the constitutionality of the case. Don Stenberg, an Attorney General located in Lincoln, Nebraska, represented the state of Nebraska.

Created 2014-01-28

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

The US President's Council on Bioethics (2001-2009)

By Ceara O'Brien

The US President's Council on Bioethics was an organization headquartered in Washington D.C. that was chartered to advise then US President George W. Bush on ethical issues related to biomedical science and technology. In November 2001, US President George W. Bush created the President's Council on Bioethics (PCB). Convened during a nationwide cloning and embryonic stem cell research debate, the Council stated that it worked to address arguments about ethics from many different perspectives.

Created 2014-02-18

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

The Singapore Bioethics Advisory Committee

By Ceara O'Brien

Established in tandem with Singapore's national Biomedical Sciences Initiatives, the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC) was established by the Singapore Cabinet in December 2000 to examine the potential ethical, legal, and social issues arising from Singapore's biomedical research sector, and to recommend policy to Singapore's government.

Created 2014-03-14

Last modified 3 years 3 months ago

Format: Articles

Social Implications of Non-Invasive Blood Tests to Determine the Sex of Fetuses

By Ceara O'Brien

By 2011, researchers in the US had established that non-invasive blood tests can accurately determine the gender of a human fetus as early as seven weeks after fertilization. Experts predicted that this ability may encourage the use of prenatal sex screening tests by women interested to know the gender of their fetuses. As more people begin to use non-invasive blood tests that accurately determine the sex of the fetus at 7 weeks, many ethical questions pertaining to regulation, the consequences of gender-imbalanced societies, and altered meanings of the parent-child relationship.

Created 2014-03-23

Last modified 3 years 3 months ago

Format: Articles

US Regulatory Response to Thalidomide (1950-2000)

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

Thalidomide, a drug capable of causing fetal abnormalities (teratogen), has caused greater than ten thousand birth defects worldwide since its introduction to the market as a pharmaceutical agent. Prior to discovering thalidomide's teratogenic effects in the early 1960s, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not place regulations on drug approval or monitoring as it later did. By 1962, approximately 20,000 patients in the US had taken thalidomide as part of an unregulated clinical trial before any actions were taken to stop thalidomide's distribution.

Created 2014-04-01

Last modified 3 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

"Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research: Executive Summary" (1999), by the US National Bioethics Advisory Commission

By Ceara O'Brien

Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research: Executive Summary was published in September 1999 by The US National Bioethics Advisory Commission in response to a national debate about whether or not the US federal government should fund embryonic stem cell research. Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research recommended policy to US President William Clinton's administration, which advocated for federal spending on the use of stem research on stem cells that came from embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) fertility treatments.

Created 2014-04-01

Last modified 3 years 2 months ago

Format: Articles

California Proposition 71 (2004)

By Ceara O'Brien

The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, also called Proposition 71, was a ballot
initiative proposed by California voters in 2004 to allocate three billion dollars of state
funds for stem cell research over ten years. Endorsed by California scientists and
patient-advocates, Prop 71 passed on 2 November 2004, amending the state constitution to make
stem cell research a constitutional right. In addition, Prop 71 led to the creation of the
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), in San Francisco, California to allocate

Created 2014-04-03

Last modified 3 years 2 months ago

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In the Matter of the Marriage of Dahl and Angle (2008)

By Jennifer E. Chapman, Mark Zhang

In the 2008 court case In the Matter of the Marriage of Dahl and Angle, the Court of Appeals of Oregon upheld a written in vitro fertilization (IVF) consent form signed by Laura and Darrell Angle, who had each contributed their genetic material to the creation of several preembryos during their marriage. Its decision followed the general framework for resolving such disputes provided by the Supreme Court of Tennessee in Davis v. Davis in 1992, which was subsequently followed by many courts across the US.

Created 2014-05-06

Last modified 3 years 1 month ago

Format: Articles

Roman v. Roman (2006)

By Jennifer E. Chapman, Mark Zhang

In the case Randy M. Roman v. Augusta N. Roman (2006), the Court of Appeals of Texas followed courts in other states and upheld the validity and enforceability of in vitro fertilization (IVF) consent agreements. The Romans, a divorced couple, each sought different outcomes for their cryopreserved preembryos created during their marriage. Randy Roman sought to have them destroyed, and Augusta Roman sought to implant them in an attempt to have biological children.

Created 2014-05-23

Last modified 3 years 1 month ago

Format: Articles

Hwang Woo-suk's Use of Human Eggs for Research 2002-2005

By Anne Safiya Clay

Hwang Woo-suk, a geneticist in South Korea, claimed in Science magazine in 2004 and 2005 that he and a team of researchers had for the first time cloned a human embryo and that they had derived eleven stem cell lines from it. Hwang was a professor at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. In the Science articles, Hwang stated that all of the women who donated eggs to his laboratory were volunteers who donated their eggs (oocytes) without receiving any compensation in return. In 2006, Hwang admitted that many of the results were fabricated.

Created 2014-08-12

Last modified 2 years 10 months ago

Format: Articles

The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology (1984), by Mary Warnock and the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology

By LaTourelle, Jonathon J.

The Report of the Committee of Inquiry
into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, commonly called the Warnock
Report after the chair of the committee Mary Warnock, is the 1984
publication of a UK governmental inquiry into the social impacts of
infertility treatment and embryological research. The birth of Louise
Brown in 1978 in Oldham, UK, sparked debate about reproductive and
embryological technologies. Brown was conceived through in vitro
fertilization (IVF), a process of fertilization that occurs outside of

Created 2014-10-02

Last modified 2 years 7 months ago

Format: Articles

"Hybrids and Chimeras: A report on the findings of the consultation" by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in October, 2007

By Sarah Taddeo, Jason S. Robert

In 2007, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in London, UK, published Hybrids and Chimeras: A Report on the Findings of the Consultation, which summarized a public debate about research on, and suggested policy for, human animal chimeras. The HFEA formulated the report after conducting a series of surveys and debates from earlier in 2007. The HFEA issued a statement in September 2007, followed by an official report published on 1 October 2007. Their report on human-animal chimeras set a worldwide precedent for discussions of the ethical use of those embryos in labs.

Created 2014-11-22

Last modified 2 years 7 months ago

Format: Articles

Whitner v. South Carolina (1997)

By Chanapa Tantibanchachai

In the case Whitner v. South Carolina in 1997, the South Carolina State Supreme Court defined the concept of a child to include viable fetuses. This allowed grounds for prosecution of a pregnant womanÕs prenatal activity if those activities endangered or could potentially endanger the fetus within her. The case brought the issue of fetal rights versus pregnant womenÕs rights to light.

Created 2014-11-30

Last modified 2 years 7 months ago

Format: Articles

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990)

By Jonathan LaTourelle

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 established the legal framework that governs infertility treatment, medical services ancillary to infertility treatment such as embryo storage, and all human embryological research performed in the UK. The law also defines a legal concept of the parent of a child conceived with assisted reproductive technologies.

Created 2014-12-19

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association's suit against Monsanto, 2012 and 2013

By Ernest Nkansah-Dwamena

In March 2011 the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and around sixty agricultural organizations (OSGATA et al.) filed a suit against Monsanto Company and Monsanto Technology L.L.C., collectively called Monsanto. The hearings for Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al. v. Monsanto (2012) took place at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, New York. The district court's Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed OSGATA's suit.

Created 2014-12-30

Last modified 2 years 6 months ago

Format: Articles

Assisted Human Reproduction Act (2004)

By Kathleen Hammond

The Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) is a piece of federal legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada. The Act came into force on 29 March 2004. Many sections of the Act were struck down following a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on its constitutionality. The AHR Act sets a legislative and regulatory framework for the use of reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization and related services including surrogacy and gamete donation. The Act also regulates research in Canada involving in vitro embryos.

Created 2015-07-30

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Eugenical Sterilization in the United States (1922), by Harry H. Laughlin

By Rachel Gur-Arie

Eugenical Sterilization in the United States is a 1922 book in which author Harry H. Laughlin argues for the necessity of compulsory sterilization in the United States based on the principles of eugenics. The eugenics movement of the early twentieth century in the US focused on altering the genetic makeup of the US population by regulating immigration and sterilization, and by discouraging interracial procreation, then called miscegenation.

Created 2015-08-12

Last modified 1 year 10 months ago

Format: Articles

ABO Blood Type Identification and Forensic Science (1900-1960)

By Corey Harbison

The use of blood in forensic analysis is a method for identifying individuals suspected of committing some kinds of crimes. Paul Uhlenhuth and Karl Landsteiner, two scientists working separately in Germany in the early twentieth century, showed that there are differences in blood between individuals. Uhlenhuth developed a technique to identify the existence of antibodies, and Landsteiner and his students showed that humans had distinctly different blood types called A, B, AB, and O.

Created 2016-06-02

Last modified 4 months 5 days ago

Format: Articles

Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942)

By Rachel Gur-Arie

In 1942, the United States Supreme Court Case of Skinner v. Oklahoma ruled that states could not legally sterilize those inmates of prisons deemed habitual criminals. Skinner v. Oklahoma was about the case of Jack Skinner, an inmate of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, who was subject to sterilization under the Oklahoma Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act of 1935. The case, decided on 1 June 1942, determined that state laws were unconstitutional if those laws enabled states to forcibly sterilize inmates deemed to be habitual criminals.

Created 2016-08-27

Last modified 10 months 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Title X Family Planning Program (1970–1977)

By Patsy Ciardullo, Nevada Wagoner

The Family Planning Services and Public Research Act of 1970, often called Title X Family Planning Program, is a US federal law that provides federal funding for family planning services to low income or uninsured families. The US federal government passed the law, Public Law 91-572, in 1970 as an amendment to the Public Health Services Act of 1944. The Act created the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) under the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (here called the Secretary).

Created 2016-10-21

Last modified 8 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Jeter v. Mayo (2005)

By Jennifer E. Chapman

In Jeter v. Mayo, the Court of Appeals of Arizona in 2005 held that a cryopreserved, three-day-old pre-embryo is not a person for purposes of Arizona's wrongful death statutes, and that the Arizona Legislature was best suited to decide whether to expand the law to include cryopreserved pre-embryos. The Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Maricopa County Superior Court to dismiss a couple's wrongful death claim after the Mayo Clinic (Mayo) allegedly lost or destroyed several of their cryopreserved pre-embryos.

Created 2016-10-22

Last modified 8 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

Barry Morris Goldwater (1909–1998)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Barry Morris Goldwater was a Republican Arizona Senator and US presidential candidate in the twentieth-century whose policies supported the women's reproductive rights movement. Goldwater, a businessman and Air Force reservist, transitioned into politics in the 1950s. He helped align popular support for a conservative Republican Party in the 1960s. Throughout his life, he worked to maintain personal liberty and to limit governmental intrusion into citizens' private lives. Goldwater, influenced by his wife Margaret (Peggy) Goldwater, supported women's rights to abortions.

Created 2016-10-28

Last modified 7 months 3 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Simat Corp v. Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (2002)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

In the 2002 case Simat Corp v. Arizona Health Care Containment System, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the Arizona Health Care Containment System must pay for abortions when they are necessary to preserve the health of pregnant women in the system. In the case, the Court ruled that the Arizona Revised Statutes 35-196.02 and the Arizona Health Care Containment System (AHCCCS) policies, which banned public funds from being used for abortions, were unconstitutional. AHCCCS is Arizona's Medicaid insurance system, which enables low-income residents to receive medical care.

Created 2016-11-13

Last modified 7 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Forbes v. Napolitano (2000)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Forbes v. Napolitano (2000) was a US court case that established that Arizona researchers could use fetal tissues from induced abortions for basic scientific research, for instance, as a source of stem cells. The case challenged the constitutionality of the Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 36-2303 in the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals, a law that banned researchers from using fetal tissues from abortions for any type of medical experimentation or investigation. The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals decision in Forbes v.

Created 2016-11-13

Last modified 7 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson, Inc., v. Marks (1972)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Created 2016-11-13

Last modified 7 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Nelson v. Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson (1973)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

The 1973 case Nelson v. Planned Parenthood Center of Tucson established the legality of abortion in Arizona. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-211, 13-212, and 13-213, collectively called the Arizona abortion statutes, were unconstitutional. The statutes had made illegal receiving, providing, or advertising abortions. After the Arizona Appeals Court heard the case, it decided that the Arizona abortion statutes were constitutional. However, two weeks later the US Supreme Court decided in Roe v.

Created 2016-11-13

Last modified 7 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Tucson Woman's Clinic v. Eden (2004)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

The case Tucson Woman's Clinic v. Eden (2004) established that some of Arizona's abortion clinic laws violated physicians' and patients' rights to privacy, and it required those laws to be rewritten. The laws required most abortion providers to be licensed with the Arizona Department of Health Services and to submit to all the regulations the Department established for abortion clinics. The regulations allowed the state to search abortion clinics without warrants and to access patient records and ultrasound prints, among other provisions.

Created 2016-11-14

Last modified 7 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Isaacson v. Horne (2013)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

In the 2013 case Isaacson v. Horne, the US Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit ruled that Arizona House Bill (HB) 2036, which prohibited abortions after twenty weeks of gestation, was unconstitutional. The Arizona State Legislature passed the law in 2012, which was then challenged by three physicians who filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that the law violated women's constitutionally protected rights to abortions, rights that may only be infringed once fetuses are viable outside of the womb.

Created 2016-11-16

Last modified 7 months 1 week ago

Format: Articles

US Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program

By Alexis Abboud

In 1996, the US Congress mandated that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) create and regulate the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The program tests industrial and agricultural chemicals for hormonal impacts in humans and in wildlife that may disrupt organisms' endocrine systems. The endocrine system regulates the release of small amounts of chemical substances called hormones to keep the body functioning normally.

Created 2017-02-02

Last modified 1 month 3 weeks ago

Format: Articles

In re Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation (1979-1984)

By Alexis Abboud

In the legal case In re Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation of the early 1980s, US military veterans of the Vietnam War sued the US chemical companies that had produced the herbicide Agent Orange, and those companies settled with US veterans out of court. Agent Orange contains dioxin, a chemical later shown to disrupt the hormone system of the body and to cause cancer. As veterans returned to the US from Vietnam, scientists further confirmed that exposure to Agent Orange caused a variety of cancers in veterans and developmental problems in the veterans' children.

Created 2017-04-10

Last modified 2 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act (1921)

By Katherine Madgett

In November 1921, US Congress passed the National Maternity and Infancy Protection Act, also called the Sheppard-Towner Act. The Act provided federal funds to states to establish programs to educate people about prenatal health and infant welfare. Advocates argued that it would curb the high infant mortality rate in the US.

Created 2017-05-18

Last modified 1 month 1 week ago

Format: Articles

United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries (1936)

By Lakshmeeramya Malladi

In the 1936 case United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City, New York, confirmed that physicians had the right to distribute contraceptives to patients for medical purposes. In January 1933, US Customs confiscated a package of contraceptives imported from Japan by US physician Hannah Stone.

Created 2017-05-24

Last modified 1 month 4 days ago

Format: Articles

Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (1994)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

On 26 May 1994, US President Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in to law, which federally criminalized acts of obstruction and violence towards reproductive health clinics. The law was a reaction to the increasing violence toward abortion clinics, providers, and patients during the 1990s. That violence included clinic blockades and protests, assaults on physicians and patients, and murders. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act established

Created 2017-05-25

Last modified 1 month 3 days ago

Format: Articles

Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (1993)

By Alexis Abboud

In its 1993 decision Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the US Supreme Court established the Daubert Standard for evaluating the admissibility of scientific knowledge as evidence in US federal courts. When it began in trial court, the case addressed whether or not Bendectin, an anti-nausea medication taken during pregnancy, caused birth defects. However, after the trial court dismissed the case for lack of admissible evidence, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Created 2017-05-29

Last modified 4 weeks 1 day ago

Format: Articles

Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories (1980)

By Alexis Abboud

Sindell v. Abbott Laboratories was a 1980 California case that established the doctrine of market share liability for personal injury cases. For such liability, when a drug causes personal injury and the manufacturer of the drug cannot be identified, each producer is responsible for paying the settlement in proportion to the percentage of the market they supplied. Judith Sindell and Maureen Rogers brought the case against the producers of diethylstilbestrol (DES), which their mothers had taken during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage and other complications.

Created 2017-06-08

Last modified 2 weeks 5 days ago

Format: Articles

United States v. Dennett (1930)

By Lakshmeeramya Malladi

In the 1930 US federal court case United States v. Dennett, Mary Coffin Ware Dennett was cleared of all charges of violating the anti-obscenity Comstock Act, a charge she had incurred by distributing her sex education pamphlet called The Sex Side of Life: An Explanation for Young People. The United States Postal Service charged Dennett under the Comstock Act, which prohibited the distribution of sex-related materials through the mail.

Created 2017-06-23

Last modified 4 days 10 hours ago

Format: Articles

Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey (2012)

By Reem Gerais

In the 2012 case Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. David Lakey, a US appeals court ruled as constitutional a Texas law that required abortion providers in the state to show women receiving abortions the ultrasound images of their fetuses. The law also required providers to describe the sounds of the fetuses' nascent hearts. In doing so, the court set precedent that ultrasound readings are necessary medical information for pregnant women seeking abortions, increasing the wait-period for women seeking abortions.

Created 2017-06-23

Last modified 4 days 10 hours ago

Format: Articles

Planned Parenthood Committee of Phoenix v. Maricopa County (1962)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

In the 1962 case Planned Parenthood Committee of Phoenix v. Maricopa County, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that Arizona Revised Statute 13-213, which banned the public advertising of contraceptive or abortion medication or services, was constitutional. However, the court also ruled that that Arizona Revised Statute 13-213 did not apply to Planned Parenthood's distribution of contraceptive information, allowing Planned Parenthood to continue distributing the information.

Created 2017-06-23

Last modified 4 days 17 hours ago

Format: Articles

State v. New Times, INC (1973)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

In the 1973 case State v. New Times, INC, the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix, Arizona, ruled that Arizona Revised Statutes 13-211, 13-212, and 13-213, collectively called the Arizona abortion statutes, were unconstitutional. The statues made it illegal for anyone to receive, provide, or advertise abortion services. The Arizona Court of Appeals reviewed a case in which a city court in Tempe, Arizona, convicted the New Times, a newspaper headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, of advertising abortion.

Created 2017-06-23

Last modified 4 days 18 hours ago

Format: Articles

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