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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Organ Donation and the Divine Lien in Talmudic Law: A Pound of Flesh

ISBN13: 9780521493383
Published: September 2014
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £65.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781316507568

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This book offers a new theory of property and distributive justice derived from Talmudic law, illustrated by a case study involving the sale of organs for transplant. Although organ donation did not exist in late antiquity, this book posits a new way, drawn from the Talmud, to conceive of this modern means of giving to others. Our common understanding of organ transfers as either a gift or sale is trapped in a dichotomy that is conceptually and philosophically limiting. Drawing on Maussian gift theory, this book suggests a different legal and cultural meaning for this property transfer. It introduces the concept of the divine lien, an obligation to others in need built into the definition of all property ownership. Rather than a gift or sale, organ transfer is shown to exemplify an owner's voluntary recognition and fulfillment of this latent property obligation.

Other Jurisdictions , Israel
1. Beyond gift and commodity: rethinking the compartmentalization approach to the problem of commodification
2. Alternate property conceptions: the donor's lien
3. 'From the table of the most high': divine ownership and private property in Talmudic law
4. 'And your brother shall live with you': the divine lien and the obligation to save human life
5. Returning a 'lost body' with one's body: human organ transplantation and the (re)consecration of the body.