Who Controls the Uses of Organs after Death? Law in the Books, Law in practice and the View of the People

Posted: 22 Oct 2018

See all articles by Bernadette Richards

Bernadette Richards

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: October 18, 2018

Abstract

The conventional wisdom is that we are free to dispose of our organs at death and that they will be employed according to our wishes. However, this reflects neither the formal law nor medical practice. This article explores the theory underlying the principle of self-determination after death. It presents an overview of Australian law and the way that the law is interpreted in clinical practice. It then presents the results of a community survey on organ disposition, and identifies a gap between community expectations and the current operation of Australian law. It concludes with some specific recommendations for development of the law to align it more closely with contemporary community views.

Keywords: organs, after-death

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Richards, Bernadette, Who Controls the Uses of Organs after Death? Law in the Books, Law in practice and the View of the People (October 18, 2018). American Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2012, U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 131, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3269058

Bernadette Richards (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

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