Friday, February 25, 2005

Worst Lawsuit Ever? --
According to this story:

Phillips accuses Dr. Sharon Irons of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" after their affair six years ago, saying she secretly kept semen after they had oral sex, then used it to get pregnant.

In arguing, the principals of the case refer to sperm as property or as a gift. There is something wrong with an attempt to turn everything into a matter of property rights.

Property rights are not the end of government, nor are they the most important rights on the books. Government exists primarily to protect human beings. Property rights, being able to own a roof to keep you safe and the means to earn a living, should be protected only so far as they don't interfere with a basic right to life. If a man's home is his castle, then government is obligated to warm up the siege engines in the case of a clear, direct threat to life.

And what is with the need to label everything property? It seems a bit anal retentive to insist that everything must belong to someone. And then, they have to come up with the semi-bogus concept of "intellectual property." I suppose that IP is a useful term to describe a group of non-corporeal things that are similar, but equating it fully with physical property is going a bit too far. Yes, IP does require some protection, but not to the current extent (though IP rights need not be rolled back as far as the Slashdot crowd wishes).

But, man, I'd hate to have to be the judge who has to claim: "She asserts that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift - an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee. There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."
(11:33 PM) Links to this post


Blogger Victoria said...

Reminds me of that scene in Legally Blonde, where Reese Witherspoon points out in a class that unless the man who impregnated this woman had a precedent of keeping tabs on the whereabouts of each and every bit of his ejaculate, he was being hypocritical when he wanted partial ownership of a particular sperm sample. At least, that's how I remember it -- it's been a while.

m- V.

11:30 AM  
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9:59 AM  

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