Writing to a Legal Audience
Mike McKee’s article, "Weighing the Right to Own an Embryo," made the front page of the Recorder, a daily legal newspaper published in San Francisco reporting on legal advice and interests of attorneys and legal practitioners. How did he make his article such a success? What made it front page worthy in the eyes of this legal audience? McKee’s article, "Weighing the Right to Own an Embryo," appeals to a legal audience by presenting an unbiased framework and evidence.
One way McKee achieves this success is by framing his article as a set of either-or propositions. He presents three main issues: "To Birth or Not to Birth," "Contract v. Intent," and "judicial versus legislative authority." As to the liking of most in a legal field, his article is very neatly and precisely organized. McKee attempts to present each proposition in a very unbiased view with quality evidence, allowing the reader to form his/her own opinions.
The first proposition, "To Birth or Not to Birth," presents the debate over who has the right to determine the fate of an embryo. New York legislators aimed at doing just that by introducing a bill requiring "advanced written directives from couples about how to dispose of their frozen eggs or embryos in the event of divorce, death or other unforeseen factors" (McKee 547). The purpose of this bill would be to provide written guidelines to aid in deciphering what should happen to the embryo in the occurrence of an "unforeseen" event. McKee acknowledges that there is currently a lack of judicial guidance in this area.
The second proposition McKee offers is "Contract v. Intent;" here he discusses the question of which is a better way of regulating rights. Joseph Gitlin, co-chairman of the American Bar Association’s genetics and reproductive technologies committee, claims, fertilization clinics should be prevented from doing their work "unless they have a contract between the parties saying what the intentions of the people are" (548). But Encino solo Shear, filing a brief for the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists in a California surrogacy case, believes that "when you have private contract law, it’s protecting only the rights of the adults and not the prospective child. Society can’t tolerate this core area of law to be governed by contract" (548). She claims "intent is a better barometer," while Gitlin points out the question of "why should you have to try to divide what the intent was later in court?" (548). There is no evidence supporting which method is more efficient, but with the facts given it seems presumably the courts rule according to intent.
A third proposition presented by McKee is the controversy over who should have ruling authority, the judicial or legislative courts. "Case-by-case handling" is not ideal, with the ever complex artificial reproduction technology progress. Justice Sills says, "Legislation would help....The challenge for the...