9780521877848

Posthumous Interests: Legal and Ethical Perspectives

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521877848

  • ISBN10:

    0521877849

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-06-08
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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Summary

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.

Table of Contents

Table of cases
Table of national provisions
Posthumous harm, posthumous interests and symbolic existencep. 8
Harmp. 9
Posthumous harm: the real puzzlesp. 15
Solving the problem of posthumous (non-)existencep. 25
Persistent existence of the Human Subjectp. 34
Symbolic existencep. 40
Posthumous rightsp. 49
Specific theories of posthumous rightsp. 53
General theories of rightsp. 63
Proprietary interest in the body of the deceasedp. 88
Is there a proprietary interest in the body of the deceased?p. 89
Determining the disposal of one's body after deathp. 143
Constraints of autonomy interestsp. 145
Legal barriers to enforcing bodily testamentsp. 150
Alternatives to the will mechanismp. 154
Alternatives to the property classification criterionp. 165
Substantial limitations of enforcing bodily testamentsp. 171
Medical confidentiality after deathp. 186
Post-mortem confidentiality in ethics and lawp. 188
General justifications for confidentialityp. 194
Practical solutions to breach of confidentialityp. 212
Conclusionsp. 236
The application of the interest in the recognition of one's symbolic existencep. 238
Possible objections to the idea of symbolic existencep. 244
A right to the recognition of symbolic existencep. 246
Select bibliographyp. 250
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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