Thursday, March 12, 2015

Artificial insemination performed at home

I listened to the argument just now by my friend Monica Monday and others in a case before the Court of Appeals, where the issue is whether artificial insemination performed at home using kitchen utensils meets the statutory definition for "assisted conception," which under Va. Code § 20-156 "means a pregnancy resulting from any intervening medical technology, whether in vivo or in vitro, which completely or partially replaces sexual intercourse as the means of conception. Such intervening medical technology includes, but is not limited to, conventional medical and surgical treatment as well as noncoital reproductive technology such as artificial insemination by donor, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, in vitro fertilization, uterine embryo lavage, embryo transfer, gamete intrafallopian tube transfer, and low tubal ovum transfer." The panel seemed to be skeptical about whether the home procedure qualified as "intervening medical technology."

Thinking about the case, I was reminded of the wisdom of my friend Fred Rowlett, who explained to me some years ago that every stage of the human experience passes through the Virginia Court of Appeals.

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