If couple wins case, would embryos be legally considered a person?

The Pennimans, who lost three viable embryos in a freezer malfunction at Cleveland's University Hospital fertility clinic, are asking an appeals court to declare those embryos as "patients."
7:35 | 08/04/18

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Transcript for If couple wins case, would embryos be legally considered a person?
here's ABC's erielle reshef. Vacatio D at the H. The very stuff family memors are made of. Our minds arelo at the fact O lucky we are and how es are to have W we have. Reporter: Now Rick sa des of having of their own can never come true. We wanted a bigger family thathi siblings to grow up with. Reporter: Theost three viable embryos in Massi fertility clini freezer action at universy hospitals in Cleveland earlier year. I feel like somebody made a de us and size our familynd hour family wa going T be. I don't think that that go away. Ter: Nowhey're asking an Ohio alate court T decle those E patienre has toeminal responsibility. When we've left livesn their hands. Because that's what these are. Rter: The L currently considers embryos and eggs physal property. At the heart of the matter,hen es human LE begin? Is an E arson? Rsonhood I a way looking ATN begins. It's really stemming from aboronmovement. And definingt LE begins a conceponsoays personhood. In fact what aually kno I E is no moment of concept andhat's N even a medic te. Yet personhood is saying th fertilized egg is a persnd has all the rights andesponsibilies of LIV human being.ephe case I reigniti conov debatetime whehe country's divisi run deep. Theirl is upheld,he case C have a sweeping impact. When you think about the ivf oc might y,f those are people, canreeze them infact, aot of the procedures that take place in an ivf clic in the labory may aually be illegal.so decla an embryo a person is very, V difficult for the whole field offertility.f a fertilized embryo is rmined to be a person, in alsp of the lawha D fundaallyha abortion laws as well, because it would eectively mak roe versusde is effectieing overturned. Repr: For wdy fight is deeply personal. Miscages,he ss ivf, as a protectivemeasure. We wanted to go and haveheocedure donethat W T time came, or if W couldn' figure out the reason behind my miscarriages, that we would at least have T eos frozen so that we could haveren in me way I the future. Reporter: She was able have H son and daughr thout using any of her S. But the couple's world changed wi aetter theotn T mail. I think were just oc confused. The letter was very it gave you ahone number to call. Reporter:heir three embryos werestroyed. Have somethingan to grieve to. Y'veen denied ability T continue motherhood. Reporter: They sued univer hospitalhealth declare the legal status of YOS thatf person. The juddismissihe lawsuit. But they on Wednesday filin an appealrguing that H the defendantatedhe embryos as patients and as immedieteps would have been taken to prevent their . The lpings life. So how not in Y way, shaperm thatat wasn't their utmost priority, told tives that they'rereating with us to, know, her standards? Unfortunately W have to go ugh thisro to kin of prove our point, which is TRE S gross neglect, there needs be regulaon. Thosees were our children. Reporter: In a statement to ABC news, uversity hospitals saying the previous court rul on tester reflects Ohio law with ro bryo we will continue to ass the litigatiasn Ohio statutes case law. We arero sorry for the lossxperiencedyf the families involved. All oft hospal Rema dedated to supporting oatients a we continue to work with the crt and parents' cou T move these cases towardsolution. They're among 950am whose4, eggs and embryos did N revive after temperature flat the clinic's cryogenic storagetanks. In March sry made N adlines as patients came forward Dering their heartache. Devastating news of that malfunctn. Two fertity clinic failures -- Growils F fig regulation. There were mores embryos affected than first estimateanunly that any of viable Repter: The eggs and embryos we stored in a highech tan with liqunitr.nsors should have beenmonitoring the tempeture tomaticallrefilling the liquid mirten as needed. An alanding if tempera rose. In a the hospital told patshe auto filln't work and they filling E tank manually. That alarm that wasupposed alt ifomething wng wasoff. Ellerned of the incident from her mother. My mom called sawomething on the news about issue at aertility clic in Cleveland. The hline number, immediately theynswered a asked my name, and sheaidy eger compromised. I hung up ondas screaming. Reporter: It was devastang news the single 37-yead who had bngnosed with bt cancer THR years earlier. She was told that needed underglife-saving em. T T that I would etefinitely lyrtility. Reporter: Smm decided freeze hereggs, even though S ss doctors warned her that delayinghemother is a huge risk I told her that it was so make sure that I could have THA in ene day. Reporter: Doctors at university htal ac3 of her eggs. 24 of them were viable. Ed chemo. Throughl, the dream of a Fu baby. I just kept picturing the day wh I would hold her a look in her eyes. Rep she other eacer survivors decided to go to famedomen's rights attorneylorialred. Three can survs. We want them to beblo fight back in orde Toake those who response table. Ld think the hospital would wan T settle is. They would want to make this go away. But that may be impossible based on the numbers that certa pe a R. I think my husban and I feel a lotecause of the fact Thate H two very chil, but there's many T didn't even that luxury. So we constantly think about people and wantbe the voice of thoseents as well. Ror wdyays she's aware that a decision I here effects. From a humane rse for themsees. 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