Research on the recently dead: an historical and ethical examination


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Abstract

Introduction and sources of dataThis paper briefly outlines the history of research on the recently dead, before critically exploringIn what sense can we harm the dead?What are the justificatory arguments for employing family or parental consent for medical research on dead relatives?Areas of agreement, controversy, growing points of interest and areas timely for developing researchThe controversy surrounding harm in relation to research on dead bodies largely depends on how dead people are perceived. That is,As CadaversAs Ante-mortem personsBy Significant othersControversy over whether we need to have consent from significant others (bereaved relatives) depends on the weight we give to the bereaved and their experience of the dead. Understanding this is timely in developing research and is relevant to the issue of consent around organ donation for transplants.

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