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Property in body parts and products of the human body

Property in body parts and products of the human body

Pawlowski, Mark ORCID: 0000-0002-5473-5809 (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)

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Abstract

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 ([2009] 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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published in print (April 2009) and online (20 May 2009). [2] The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com.
Uncontrolled Keywords: property, body parts, human body, genetic material, biotechnological products
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Law & Criminology
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Law & Criminology Research Group
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1350

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