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Posthumous Interests: Legal and Ethical Perspectives (Cambridge Law, Medicine and Ethics)
Daniel Sperling discusses the legal status of posthumous interests and their possible defeat by actions performed following the death of a person. The author first explores the following questions: Do the dead have interests and/or rights, the defeat of which may constitute harm? What does posthumous harm consist of and when does it occur, if at all? This...
Daniel Sperling discusses the legal status of posthumous interests and their possible defeat by actions performed following the death of a person. The author first explores the following questions: Do the dead have interests and/or rights, the defeat of which may constitute harm? What does posthumous harm consist of and when does it occur, if at all? This is followed by a more detailed analysis of three categories of posthumous interests arising in the medico-legal context: the proprietary interest in the body of the deceased, the testamentary interest in determining the disposal of one's body after death and the interest in post-mortem medical confidentiality. Sperling concludes that if we acknowledge the interest in one's symbolic existence and legally protect it, not only do some interests survive a person's death but we should also enjoy a peremptory legal power to shape in advance our symbolic existence after death.
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