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With Modern Families, New Ethical Questions Arise

In CNN, M.S. in Bioethics director Dr. Robert Klitzman asks, “Does Sofia Vergara own her embryos?”

Vergara, a star on the hit show “Modern Family” and currently the highest paid actress on television, faces a battle over her rights to the embryos that she had created with her then-fiance Nick Loeb. Last month, in The New York Times, Loeb wrote an op-ed that insisted that he should have the right to claim those embryos for himself, and to implant them in a hired surrogate.

Klitzman points out, “Loeb and Vergara created two embryos and signed a contract that the embryos could only be used by mutual consent. He then ‘gave her an ultimatum’ that they proceed to implant the embryos. ‘When she refused, we split up.’”

Klitzman writes, “The dispute raises ethical dilemmas. The children, once born, would presumably have strained relationships or no contact with Vergara, which would be difficult for them.” He asks, “Are embryos property? Who really should own them? Will the children who are born from them have rights to know or have relationships with their biological parents?”

He suggests that The American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the clinics and the doctors who advise IVF patients must further engage with these ethical questions.

Klitzman says, “Whether we are celebrities or not, we are all living in an age of modern families; and the more we can address these challenges, the better off we will be.”

Read the rest of the article over at CNN.