Litowitz v. Litowitz

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Litowitz v. Litowitz by Mind Map: Litowitz v. Litowitz

1. Facts

1.1. Parties

1.1.1. Petitioner: Becky Litowitz

1.1.2. Respondent: David Litowitz

1.2. What Happened

1.2.1. In 1996, Mr. and Mrs. Litowitz, then married, engaged with the Center for Surrogate Parenting at Loma Linda University Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group to undergo an In Vitro Fertilization procedure, with an egg donated from a surrogate mother, with whom they entered into a contract determining that the intended parents would be Mr. and Mrs. Litowitz. Contract with donor stated that: - All eggs produced by donor would be property of intended parents. - Intended parents would not be allowed to let anyone else use the eggs without written consent from the donor - Disposing of eggs would be up to intended parents

1.2.2. Two contracts were also signed with the Center. Contract stating that decisions on future of pre-embryos must have consent from both Mr. & Mrs. Litowitz, proceeding to guidance from court if a mutual decision could not be made Contract stating what should happen if both intended parents no longer wanted the pre-embryos. The Center would prevent further development of the pre-embryos if either of the intended parents withdrew consent, if one of them died, if the cryopreservation program ceased to exist, or if the five-year contract expired.

1.2.3. Five pre-embryos were created, three were implanted into a surrogate mother, two were cryopreserved In 1997, surrogate mother delivers child of intended parents.

1.3. Procedural History

1.3.1. Trial court awards remaining pre-embryos to Mr. Litowitz, claiming it was in the best interest of the child Ms. Litowitz appeals decision Judge places restraining order on Ms. Litowitz so she can't access pre-embryos until final decision is made

1.3.2. Court of appeals held that all previous contracts were valid and that Mr. Litowitz did not have to continue with the plan to raise a child with Ms. Litowitz because they were divorced Court also held that Mr. Litowitz had the right to decide the fate of the pre-embryos because of his right to not procreate Ms. Litowitz seeks review

2. Rule of Law

2.1. Custody of pre-embryos

2.1.1. Legal Principles Contractual Liability Parties under contract take responsibility as per the conditions of the contract.

2.1.2. Legal Precedents Kass v. Kass Contracts agreed upon between two natural parents regarding fertilized eggs are presumed valid and binding and will be enforced as such in further legal proceedings. Davis v. Davis Disputes regarding fertilized eggs shall take the following precedence when making a judgment: 1) The wishes of the interested parties; 2) The terms of previous agreements between the parties; 3) Fair balance of relative interests of the parties in the fate of the fertilized eggs

3. Analysis

3.1. Custody of pre-embryos

3.1.1. Contractual Liability Parties under contract take responsibility as per the conditions of the contract. Petitioner's interpretation Respondent's interpretation

3.1.2. Constitutional Rights Laws laid out in the Constitution of the United States of America supersede all other law in the United States of America Petitioner's interpretation Respondent's interpretation

4. Issues

4.1. Was the Court of appeals right in awarding the two pre-embryos to Mr. Litowitz?

5. Conclusion

5.1. Contract Expiration

5.1.1. The court ruled in favor of the respondent, determining that he had the right to decide to not be a father and that the petitioner had no right to the pre-embryo. In the end, the contract with the Centre expired and thus terminated the contract in which the Centre would thaw the pre-embryos and prevent further development at the end of that term.

6. Impact

6.1. Roman v. Roman

6.1.1. Cites Litowitz v. Litowitz in relation to contract enforcement overriding a ruling for one party over the other.

7. Importance

7.1. A health care professional would care about the decision because:

7.1.1. They need to be aware of how contracts can affect issues in regard to ownership over organic material

8. Influence

8.1. We can learn from the ruling to be careful in coming up with all possible scenarios and covering as many of them as possible when writing contracts