By E. Richard Gold
In Body Parts, E. Richard Gold examines even if the physique and fabrics derived from it―such as human organs and DNA―should be regarded as marketplace commodities and topic to estate legislation. interpreting a sequence of court docket judgements relating estate rights, Gold explores no matter if the language and assumptions of estate legislation will help society ensure who has rights to human organic materials.
Gold observes that the industrial possibilities unleashed via advances in biotechnology current a problem to the ways in which society has characteristically valued the human physique and human health and wellbeing. In a balanced dialogue of either advertisement and person views, Gold asserts the necessity to comprehend human organic fabrics in the context of human values, instead of fiscal interests.
This perceptive booklet could be welcomed through students and different execs engaged in questions concerning bioethics, utilized ethics, the philosophy of worth, and estate and highbrow estate rights. Given the overseas elements of either highbrow estate legislations and biotechnology, this ebook might be of curiosity in the course of the international and particularly precious in common-law (most English-speaking) nations.
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Extra resources for Body Parts: Property Rights and the Ownership of Human Biological Materials
There is a tension, however, between valuing the body and its components as commodities and valuing them in terms of warmth, identity, and comfort. Unlike pharmaceuticals, we cannot buy or sell warmth and friendship without doing serious injury to what we mean by those terms. My aim in this book is to examine how we, in our society, can hope to cope and resolve this tension between valuing the human body and its components as commodities and valuing them in more traditional ways. This resolution is necessary if we wish both to reap the benefits of biotechnologyin terms of better healthand to preserve the many ways in which we currently value the human body.
This is, admittedly, a thin edge of the wedge argument, but given that legal decisions are made on the basis of precedent and incremental change, it is nevertheless of real concern. In reality, however, while the majority of the population may not associate a particular pharmaceutical as having been derived from the body, those who create pharmaceuticals very much have this knowledge. Since these are individuals who transform human biological materials into disassociated components, we ought still to care how these individuals value the component.
While there is nothing, in principle, from deter- Page 9 ring any individual lawyer, judge, or legislator from questioning these assumptions or conceptions, the opportunity for doing so is seldom provided. The daily task of practicing law generally shoves aside deep theoretical questions; on those few occasions where practitioners challenge these assumptions, they often dramatically change the law. The assumptions and conceptions underlying property discourse affect not only the discourse itself, but the allocation of property rights made using that discourse, through their influence on how that discourse is carried out.