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6. DNA as Personal Property

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes the present state of the law in a number of common law jurisdictions, including the inferences that can be drawn in this respect from the recently enacted UK Human Tissue Act 2004. It describes the new case that is currently being made for recognizing an inalienable property right in human biological material. The chapter discusses the issue of whether an individual has a property right in his biological material as such and also addresses the issue of whether personal property rights may be extended to encompass human biological material, as, if and when processed and cultured. It analyzes the policy considerations pro and contra the recognition of property rights in human biological material, and examines the implications of recognizing inalienable property rights in the specific context of a Biobank.

Keywords: Biobank; DNA; human biological material; UK Human Tissue Act



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