Persons, Parts and Property: How Should we Regulate Human Tissue in the 21st Century?

Author(s): Imogen Goold

Social Sciences

The debate over whether human bodies and their parts should be governed by the laws of property has accelerated with the pace of technological change. Having long held that a corpse could not be property, the common law first recognised that there could be a property interest in human tissue in some circumstances in the early 1900s, but it was not until a string of judicial decisions and statutory regulation in the 1990s and early 2000s that the place of this `exception' was cemented. The 2009 decision of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in Yearworth & Ors v North Bristol NHS Trust added a new dimension to the debate by supporting a move towards a broader, more principled basis for finding (or rejecting) property rights in human tissue. However, the law relating to property rights in human bodies and their parts remains highly contested. The contributions in this volume represent a collation of the broad spectrum of analyses on offer, and provide a detailed exploration of the salient legal and theoretical puzzles arising out of the body-as-property question.


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Imogen Goold is an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Anne's College. Kate Greasley is a Junior Research Fellow in Law at University College, Oxford. Jonathan Herring is a Professor in Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Exeter College. Loane Skene is a Professor in Law at the Melbourne Law School and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

1. Introduction Imogen Goold, Kate Greasley, Jonathan Herring and Loane Skene 2. Impressions on the Body, Property and Research Dianne Nicol, Don Chalmers, Rebekah McWhirter and Joanne Dickinson 3. The Problems of Biobanking and the Law of Gifts Cameron Stewart, Wendy Lipworth, Lorena Aparicio, Jennifer Fleming and Ian Kerridge 4. Unintended Side Effects of the National Health Service Thomas Krebs 5. Public Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Charitable Trusts Cameron Stewart, Lorena Aparicio, Wendy Lipworth and Ian Kerridge 6. Property Rights in the Human Body: Commodification and Objectification Kate Greasley 7. Property Rights in Human Biological Material Simon Douglas 8. The Boundaries of Property Law Jesse Wall 9. Abandonment and Human Tissue Imogen Goold 10. Cadavers, Body Parts and the Remedial Problem Remigius N Nwabueze 11. Alternatives to a Corporate Commons: Biobanking, Genetics and Property in the Body Donna Dickenson

General Fields

  • : 9781849465465
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Hart Publishing
  • : September 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Imogen Goold
  • : Hardback
  • : 334