ABSTRACT

The value of human organs and tissue as useful bio-medical materials has increased dramatically in recent years, leading to increased regulation of body part use, in part to prevent abuse, in part to regulate medical access to human tissue and organs. A number of laws and regulations directly concern the citizen's body, alive or dead (i.e. the proper handling of individual persons' bodies and corpses) and several of these regulations are associated with medical procedures such as transplantation, autopsies, criteria for determining death, insemination, castration, research with foetal tissue, the proper handling of corpses, etc. (see Chapter 9). 35 These regulations answer to many interests and rationalities, responding to important social and medical requirements, but they also are expressions of the significant weight and extent of legal control applied to private areas of human existence. Moreover, the regulation of organ access and use has implications far beyond the medical sphere in redefining the boundaries between individual rights, family rights and state rights in dealing with bodies and body parts.