So, if Mississippi had passed its law to make fertilized embryos legally people, would that really weird up the legal system? I don’t understand enough about biology or the legal system to get this, so if you have any insights, please hit me up or write a post somewhere and send us a link. For instance:
Are “persons” and minors the same thing, legally? Or does this law make legally-minor children and their parents equal?
If you go through IVF, and you end up with a lot of non-implanted embryos, are these embryos legally people? If they die in the Petri dish, did you murder people?
If the Petri dish embryos are people, are they dependents of the gamete-supplying people? Can you keep them and claim them as a tax write-off, etc.?
What if pre-human gametes are transferred for money? Sperm and egg sales are commonplace. And the purchaser uses these gametes to create an embryo, in vitro. Who is the parent? The genetic supplier of the gamete? The purchaser? The lab tech who causes them to fuse?
If you can keep these embryos in a freezer, forever, are they legally essentially immortal people? Say we hook up a generator to the freezer and so on to save it from power cuts, etc.
If we have an embryo in a freezer, and it is an immortal person under Mississippi law, can we transfer assets to it and have it hold them in perpetuity, avoiding tax penalties, etc.?
Can the “parent” of the immortal frozen embryo retain power of attorney (related to original question) or whatever legal agency is required to have the immortal embryo adopt other people? E.g. can the embryo adopt me and claim me as a dependent, and support me, etc.?
Can I use a chain of embryos as the ownership structure of my zaibatsu, while shuffling control amongst of a chain of actual humans who are adopted, or at least paid or trusted with some authority, by the immortal embryos?
In cases of legal dispute over the inheritance chain or identities of immortal embryos (say the labels smudge off the Petri dishes), how would they be tested? You need DNA, right? But it’s not like there’s extra copies of DNA in an embryo with only one-to-a-few cells, right? There’s just the one set per cell, as far as I know. You can’t take it out and run PCR without destroying the embryo, right? More generally, isn’t the specific DNA that ends up in an embryo the result of a random process? If you have a one-celled embryo with legal personhood, can you uniquely identify which one it is, assuming you lose track at some point?
If Mississippi was ejected from the United States and became a monarchy, could it come to pass that an embryo in a freezer was king forever, and a series of regents would hold actual power? And coups and so on would focus primarily on sabotaging the freezer’s connection to electricity?