The Legal Rights of the Corpse Considered in New Book by Bioethics Scholar Norman Cantor
November 11, 2010 –What happens to our bodies during and after the various forms of cadaver disposal available? Who controls the fate of human remains? What legal and moral constraints apply?
In After We Die: The Life and Times of the Human Cadaver (Georgetown University Press, October 2010), legal scholar Norman Cantor provides a graphic, informative, and entertaining exploration of these and other questions related to the disposal of human remains. Control of a cadaver is explored with regard not only to mode and place of disposition of remains, but also to use of cadaveric body parts in education, research, tissue transplant, and procreation. The controversies surrounding the disposal of the remains of baseball legend Ted Williams and actress Anna Nicole Smith as well as less-celebrated figures underscore the importance of leaving instructions directing post-mortem disposal.
Professor Cantor is Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. He is the author of the books Making Medical Decisions for the Profoundly Mentally Disabled, Advance Directives and the Pursuit of Death with Dignity, and Legal Frontiers of Death and Dying as well as numerous law review and medical journal articles on legal and ethical issues in end-of-life care. He earned an A.B. cum laude from Princeton and a J.D. magna cum laude from Columbia Law School. He served as a visiting professor on the law faculties at Columbia University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University, and as a Merck Visiting Scholar at Seton Hall Law School.