The questions before the three judges convened in Trenton, N.J., last Monday were pristine enough: Are frozen human embryos property? Are they people? Or are they a new form of entity that deserves special protection under the law?

It’s a case of first impression in New Jersey, and lawyers on both sides agree that’s it’s one in which technology has outpaced the law. There is no statute or case law that controls the fate of embryos where the couple who create them can’t agree.

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