To Rest in Peace: a Proprietary Analysis of the Treatment of Human Bodies after Death
This paper deals with the issue of recognising a property right in the human body after death. It advocates that such a right is appropriate given the need for family members to have increased control over the treatment of their loved one's remains. Thus a property right over human corpses is proposed, in favour of the next of kin, for the purposes of ensuring proper burial. This conclusion was reached after consideration of the recent New Zealand Supreme Court case Takamore v Clarke, the Gravatt family experience and Toi Moko. Themes present in this paper include the primacy of the wishes of the surviving over those of the dead and the significance of communal decision-making in matters concerning death and grief.