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Use of the Dead Body in Healthcare and Medical Training: Mapping and Balancing the Legal Rights and Values

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By exploring the central legal principles and issues regarding usage of the dead body in healthcare and especially in medical training, this article aims at drawing some general conclusions on the legal status of the dead body and the protection of the deceased’s integrity, dignity and autonomy. 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. This is made possible by the fact that the underlying principle of dignity is not perceived to be of an absolute nature when applicable to deceased persons.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark


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