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September 2021

My body, my body parts, my property?

Author(s): Brownsword, R.

Journal/Book: Health Care Anal. 2000; 8: Spuiboulevard 50, PO Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kluwer Academic Publ. 87-99.

Abstract: This paper challenges the view, commonly held in biolaw and bioethics, that there can be no proprietary rights in our own bodies or body parts. Whether the starting point is the post-intervention informed consent regime of Article 22 of the Convention of Human Rights and Biomedicine or the traditional (exclusionary) understanding of private property it is argued that property in our own bodies or body parts is presupposed. Although these arguments do not demonstrate that there is property of this kind (for that, a full-scale justification of the institution of private property would be required), they suggest nevertheless that the commonly held view has an immanent property logic that has not yet been drawn out or appreciated.

Note: Article Beyleveld D, Univ Sheffield, Sheffield Inst Biotechnol Law & Eth, Fac Law, Sheffield, S Yorkshire, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): Articles 21 and 22 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine; property in bodies and body parts; informed consent; rule preclusionary conception of private property; case of John Moore


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