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UH fertility clinic patient asks judge to define when life begins

Posted at 8:04 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2019-03-28 15:57:54-04

In a newly filed lawsuit, a patient from University Hospitals fertility clinic is asking the judge presiding over her case to define when life begins.

Wendy Penniman and her husband, along with hundreds of other patients, lost their eggs and embryos after the storage tank in the fertility clinic malfunctioned last month.

RELATED Broken Trust: News 5's special report on the University Hospitals fertility clinic catastrophe

As a result, numerous lawsuits have been filed in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court against the hospital, but there's one question the Pennimans look to answer: when does life begin?

Penniman's attorney, Bruce Taubman, says it's important for a determination to be made by the judge because it could impact the outcome of their case.

He says the couple believes that life begins at conception, which means they consider an embryo to be a person.  

If a judge were to declare that the embryos have the legal status of a person, that could mean the plaintiffs could seek action for wrongful death.

It's unclear when a ruling would be decided.

RELATED Gloria Allred is representing three cancer survivors who are suing UH over fertility clinic failure

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