Property in body parts and products of the human body
Pawlowski, Mark (2009) Property in body parts and products of the human body. Liverpool Law Review, 30 (1). pp. 35-55. ISSN 0144-932X (Print), 1572-8625 (Online) (doi:10.1007/s10991-009-9052-2)Full text not available from this repository.
An intriguing question, which until recently had not been directly explored by the courts, is the extent to which English law recognises body parts and products of the human body as property capable of ownership. Although the common law currently recognises no general property in a dead body (and only limited possessory rights in respect of it), this apparent “no-property rule” provides no justification, it is submitted, for denying proprietary status to parts or products of a living human body. The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Yearworth v. North Bristol NHS Trust ( EWCA Civ 37) lends strong support to the view that genetic material (as the product of a living human body) is capable of ownership, at least in the context of a claim in the tort of negligence and bailment. This article examines the various issues by reference to both English and Commonwealth authority.
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