09 February, 2007

Civil Law Workshop: Heirs of the Body

Professor Gruning, Loyola University School of Law (New Orleans), presented some interesting questions on the current state of the Civil Law in relation to the legal status of the body as goods or things... According to Prof. Gruning, Civil Law does not state what rights a person has on his own living body; what rights does that same person have on his own body after his death; what are the rights of person's heir on the body; and what are the rights of others of that person's choosing on the body. Presently, the law prohibits trafficking on organs, tissue, bone fragments, and in some instances blood. Yet in certain cases the law also acts as if there were some property interests of the person on his body but fails to identify what those interests are. Prof. Gruning suggests a that the Civil Law could handle a private law principle in which the person has a property interest in his body yet where trafficking on body parts would be prohibited by placing body parts out of commerce.

The workshop was excellent and the discussion after the presentation was informative and spirited. There were different approaches to solutions for Prof. Gruning's questions but it was clear that this is an issue clearly solvable by the mechanisms present in the Civil Law.

No comments: