Doodeward v Spence (1908) 6 CLR 406

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Facts

  • A stillborn baby with two heads is preserved by a doctor who displays it in his office.
  • Later, the doctor dies and there is a question of whether the preserved corpse can be seen as property.

Issue

  • Can there be property rights in a corpse?

Held

  • Yes, but only if skill has been involved in the preservation of the corpse.
  • They must also be displayed in the public interest – e.g. mummies in a museum.

Full Text

The full text is available here:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/HCA/1908/45.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=title%28doodeward%20and%20spence%20%29


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