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Judge allows wrongful death suit in embryo mishap

[JURIST] A Cook County (Chicago) judge has ruled that a couple may file a wrongful death suit against the fertility clinic that accidently discarded their embryos. Judge Jeffrey Lawrence held Friday that "a pre-embryo is a 'human being' ... whether or not it is implanted in its mother's womb." He relied on Illinois's Wrongful Death Act [text; FAQ] and another state law declaring an unborn child a legal person in allowing the suit. The plaintiffs had stored nine embryos in January 2000 at the Center for Human Reproduction {official website] in Chicago. Their doctor told them one looked promising, but six months later they were told the embryos had been accidently discarded. The clinic said it will likely appeal. The American Civil Liberties Union says that no appellate court has ever declared a fertilized egg a human being in a wrongful death suit. AP has more.

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