Conference: ‘Who Owns Your Body? – Beyond The Physical’ (6-7 November 2018)

Dr Gerard Porter, Lecturer in Medical Law & Ethics, Director of Ethics & Integrity, Edinburgh Law School, the University of Edinburgh, the United Kingdom

Abstract: In 1990, the Supreme Court of California’s landmark decision in Moore v Regents of the University of California established a particular way of conceptualising and resolving disputes over patented material derived from the human body. This entailed prioritising the interests of medical researchers – and in the majority of the justices’ view, the public good of biomedical research itself – over the interests of human sources of biological material. The ‘Moore v Regents’ framework has been widely adopted in other jurisdictions around the world. Yet despite being significantly disempowered by the formal legal regimes, donors of biological material have still tried to use a number of different strategies to 13 exercise control over biomedical research and claim remuneration. This talk presents some of the key trends and offers some suggestions for the future.