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date: 21 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In a 2012 Canadian case, the Supreme Court of British Columbia held that sperm acquired and stored for the purposes of IVF could be considered shared marital property in the event of a separation. This case followed on from similar cases that accepted sperm as capable of being property. This chapter suggests that these cases are indicative of a shift from the legal conceptualization of bodies and body parts as falling within a human dignity frame to accepting individual property rights claims. It explores the nature of the property claims to sperm before the (common law) courts in the context of the rise of human rights within law and technology, and argues that accepting these claims risks corrupting the very thing rights seek to protect.

Keywords: property rights, human rights, rights talk, sperm, giftedness, J.C.M.

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