Body Parts: Property Rights and the Ownership of Human by E. Richard Gold

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 considered marketplace commodities and topic to estate legislation. interpreting a sequence of courtroom judgements relating estate rights, Gold explores no matter if the language and assumptions of estate legislations will help society confirm 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 ordinarily valued the human physique and human future health. 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 monetary interests.

This perceptive booklet can be welcomed via students and different execs engaged in questions relating to 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 e-book could be of curiosity in the course of the global and particularly invaluable in common-law (most English-speaking) international locations.

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Extra resources for Body Parts: Property Rights and the Ownership of Human Biological Materials

Sample text

That is, an object may be valuable to different people for different reasons. When individuals decide how much to spend to purchase that object, they translate the way they value the object into a money price. The person who values the object most will attribute the highest price to it and will, through the auspices of the market, come to own the object. Thus the object ends up in the hands of the person who most valued it. Page 10 Although, as discussed, property rights are rights against other people, they are about things in the world.

The legal system, like all systems, contains its own meanings, its own beliefs, and its own conceptions. Let us call the meanings, beliefs, and conceptions of the participants in the legal system relating to claims of rights of the sort that are likely to be put forward by researchers, investors, and pharmaceutical companies, property discourse. This discourse comprises the language, norms, and conceptions that will determine who, ultimately, has the right to determine whether materials derived from the body will be treated as a commodity (rather than treated with respect) or consumed (rather than preserved).

My focus in chapters 3 through 6 is to investigate the first of these questions, that is, which modes of valuation do we encourage when we use property discourse? I undertake this investigation in four parts. In chapter 3, I set out the general thesis that, through property discourse, we allocate rights of control over a good so as to place the good, in some form, within the market. That is, we allocate rights of control to those individuals who value the good according to market modes of valuation.

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