Neil Maddox, ‘Book review: Self-Ownership, Property Rights, and the Human Body: A Legal and Philosophical Analyses

Self-Ownership, Property Rights, and the Human Body: A Legal and Philosophical Analysis, Muireann Quigley. Hardback: (Cambridge, New York and Victoria, Cambridge University Press, 2018), ISBN 9781 107036864, 342 pp., £95. Paperback: (Cambridge, New York and Victoria, Cambridge University Press, 2020), ISBN 9781 108797740; 342 pp, £25.99. Reviewed by: Neil Maddox, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland DOI: 10.1177/0968533220915756. The human body is quite the normative puzzle. It raises many ‘ought’ questions for the lawyer and ethicist that are not easily answered. Can existing law, which is old and slow to evolve, adequately adapt to changes in the medico-legal landscape, wrought by technology that is new and rapidly evolving? In such an ever-changing landscape, can the body and its parts and products sit neatly in an existing legal category or would this be putting new wine in old bottles; does it instead merit a category all of its own? How can property, an institution that developed to address very different problems than those posed by modern biotechnology, possibly be of use? These are but some of the questions addressed by Professor Quigley in this magisterial work of scholarship concerned with ownership and the body, a work which harnesses and synthesises much legal, ethical and philosophical debate in aid of its argument, but remains an eminently readable account of a fascinating (and hotly contested) area of scholarly inquiry …

Neil Maddox, Book review: Self-Ownership, Property Rights, and the Human Body: A Legal and Philosophical Analyses, Medical Law International. First Published April 7, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/0968533220915756.

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