Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

College/School

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department/Program

Political Science and Law

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jack Baldwin LeClair

Committee Member

Avram Segall

Committee Member

Andrew T. Fede

Subject(s)

Frozen human embryos -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States, Biotechnology -- Political aspects

Abstract

This thesis explores the issue of the unknown legal status of frozen embryos in the United States. With an examination of the issue through the discipline of law, it becomes evident that the lack of legislation and guidance on the issue has left it a matter up to the states, rather than the federal government. Central to the issue is the history and laws of abortion in the United States that can help provide precedent. The thesis examines embryos in light of property law, contract law, and family law. Also included is a review of embryos through a second discipline of political science. This allows for an in depth review of embryos as they relate to political parties. The thesis defines and examines relative sub-topics such as “culture war” and the new field of human biotechnology. The culture changes and hesitancy of government regulation provides a better understanding of embryos according to society. The thesis then relates both disciplines together, finding correlations where both disciplines highlight similar findings, such as a lack of policy. The thesis suggests a federal statute to help provide a clear definition of an embryo and a more government regulated field of biotechnology to control the process of freezing embryos.

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