Body Parts: Property Rights and the Ownership of Human Biological Materials
by E. Richard Gold
Georgetown University Press
Paper: 978-0-87840-661-6


In Body Parts, E. Richard Gold examines whether the body and materials derived from it—such as human organs and DNA—should be thought of as market commodities and subject to property law. Analyzing a series of court decisions concerning property rights, Gold explores whether the language and assumptions of property law can help society determine who has rights to human biological materials.

Gold observes that the commercial opportunities unleashed by advances in biotechnology present a challenge to the ways that society has traditionally valued the human body and human health. In a balanced discussion of both commercial and individual perspectives, Gold asserts the need to understand human biological materials within the context of human values, rather than economic interests.

This perceptive book will be welcomed by scholars and other professionals engaged in questions regarding bioethics, applied ethics, the philosophy of value, and property and intellectual property rights. Given the international aspects of both intellectual property law and biotechnology, this book will be of interest throughout the world and especially valuable in common-law (most English-speaking) countries.

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