Body of research – Ownership and use of human tissue

- The New England Journal of Medicine
Author/s: -Charo, R.A.
Journal: N Engl J Med
Volume: 355
Pages: 1517-1519

Nearly 20 years after the California courts decided Moore v. Regents — a seminal case concerning a patient’s interest in the profits derived from patents on a cell line generated from his spleen tissue — U.S. jurisprudence still has no coherent answer to a deceptively simple question: Do we own our own bodies?
Why deceptively simple? Be- cause the meaning of “property” is unclear. Because the question must be asked about our relation- ships both to our bodies and to our excised body tissue. And because it must be asked about those relationships both before and after we die.