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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Posthumous Interests: Legal and Ethical Perspectives

ISBN13: 9780521877848
Published: April 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £89.99
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521187664

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Daniel Sperling discusses the legal status of posthumous interests and their possible defeat by actions performed following the death of a person. The author first explores the following questions: Do the dead have interests and/or rights, the defeat of which may constitute harm? What does posthumous harm consist of and when does it occur, if at all?

This is followed by a more detailed analysis of three categories of posthumous interests arising in the medico-legal context: the proprietary interest in the body of the deceased, the testamentary interest in determining the disposal of one’s body after death and the interest in post-mortem medical confidentiality. Sperling concludes that if we acknowledge the interest in one’s symbolic existence and legally protect it, not only do some interests survive a person’s death but we should also enjoy a peremptory legal power to shape in advance our symbolic existence after death.

  • This is the first book to analyse the concept of posthumous interests with its emphasis on three under-regulated and incoherent legal areas
  • It is written by a lawyer and philosopher whose training is in the area of bioethics and medical law
  • Provides a thorough analysis of an area which by its nature evokes intuitive responses, subjectivity and sentimentalism occasionally reflected in case law

Medical Law
1. Posthumous harm, posthumous interests and symbolic existence
2. Posthumous rights
3. Proprietary interest in the body of the deceased
4. Determining the disposal of one’s body after death
5. Medical confidentiality after death