The European Court of Human Rights will soon be hearing the case of Adelina Parrillo v. Italy. The Court will be holding a hearing in this case on June 18, 2014.
Adelina v. Italy is a case involving Adelina Parrillo, a 48-year-old Italian woman and her embryos. She has a condition known as endometriosis, which is where tissue that is supposed to be on the inside of the uterus is found on the outside of it. This condition causes pain in the pelvis and more specifically for this case infertility. As a result of this condition, she and her husband decided to have children by medically assisted procreation (MAP). The couple had five embryos created and frozen for implantation. Her husband, however, died in 2003, so Parrillo decided not to have any of the embryos implanted. Then, in 2004, Italy passed the Italian Act. Article 13 of this Act criminalized the destruction of human embryos, even for scientific research purposes. Thus, Parrillo could not have the embryos destroyed.
In light of the situation, she brought a claim to the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. She claimed that Article 13 of the Italian Act violated her “property rights” over the frozen embryos under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and that her “right to private life under Article 8. Article 13 requires her to keep the embryos frozen until they are no longer viable. She is not allowed to donate the embryos for scientific research. The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) argue that “Abortion allows the destruction of embryos in utero in order to protect the right to life and health of the mother. The destruction of embryos in vitro is not necessary to protect a comparable, concurrent right, such as the right to life of the mother.” This case is trying to defend the rights of the unborn under the EU context.
How do you think this case should and/or will turn out? Are these embryos just pieces of property that Parrillo has full control over? Shouldn’t she have the final say in what becomes of the embryos? Does Article 13 and the ECLJ have the stronger argument?
Source: Turtle Bay and Beyond
Image: Turtle Bay and Beyond