Human rights and human tissue

The case of sperm as property

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In a 2012 case from Canada, the Supreme Court of British Columbia held that sperm acquired and stored for the purposes of IVF could be considered shared marital property in the event of a separation. This case followed on from similar cases that accepted sperm as capable of being property. This chapter suggests that these cases are indicative of a shift from the legal conceptualisation of bodies and body parts as falling within a human dignity frame to accepting individual property rights claims. It explores the nature of the property claims to sperm before the (common law) courts in the context of the rise of human rights within law and technology, and argues that accepting these claims risks corrupting the very thing rights seek to protect.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology
EditorsRoger Brownsword, Karen Yeung, Eloise Scotford
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter8
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780199680832
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Fingerprint

human rights
human dignity
common law
right of ownership
Supreme Court
Canada
Law
event

Keywords

  • Property rights; human rights; rights talk; sperm; ‘giftedness’; J.C.M.

Cite this

Goodwin, M. (2017). Human rights and human tissue: The case of sperm as property. In R. Brownsword, K. Yeung, & E. Scotford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199680832.013.44
Goodwin, Morag. / Human rights and human tissue : The case of sperm as property. The Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. editor / Roger Brownsword ; Karen Yeung ; Eloise Scotford. Oxford University Press, 2017.
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Goodwin, M 2017, Human rights and human tissue: The case of sperm as property. in R Brownsword, K Yeung & E Scotford (eds), The Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199680832.013.44

Human rights and human tissue : The case of sperm as property. / Goodwin, Morag.

The Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. ed. / Roger Brownsword; Karen Yeung; Eloise Scotford. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Goodwin M. Human rights and human tissue: The case of sperm as property. In Brownsword R, Yeung K, Scotford E, editors, The Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. Oxford University Press. 2017 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199680832.013.44