Proper and Improper Use of the Dead Body - A Legal Perspective from Europe

13 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2011

See all articles by Janne Rothmar Herrmann

Janne Rothmar Herrmann

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 6, 2011

Abstract

By exploring the legal principles and values applicable regarding the proper and improper use of the dead body and how these values are weighed against each other, the article aims at drawing some general conclusions on the legal status of the dead body and the protection of the deceased’s personality, integrity and dignity. The article demonstrates that the use of the cadaveric body for scientific and educational purposes involves a redrawing of the traditional boundaries between the decent and the indecent making these acts acceptable that would otherwise be regarded as assaults on the sanctity of bodily boundaries. The nature of what constitutes a scientific and educational use is explored emphasizing the importance of corpses in this context for the provision of good quality health care.

Keywords: Dead body, burial, dignity, indecent, autopsy, medical training, scientific use, educational display

Suggested Citation

Rothmar Herrmann, Janne, Proper and Improper Use of the Dead Body - A Legal Perspective from Europe (November 6, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1955444 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1955444

Janne Rothmar Herrmann (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Law ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Studiestrade 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

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