Ownership of the Body: The Dutch Context

Jos Welie, Henk A.M.J ten Have

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Ownership is a well-known feature of the world; without it our world would be considerably different. Consequently, ownership is an important topic in moral, political, and legal philosophy. Furthermore, every country has its particular ownership institutions. All too human quarrels about what’s mine and what’s thine have led to the establishment of fan extensive body of laws. Intricate legal distinctions have been developed between, for example, the actual power to dispose of goods (possession), the title or legal right to dispose of goods (ownership), and the goods being owned (property). This chapter intends to investigate the issue of ownership of the human body and body parts from a Dutch legal perspective. However, nowhere in the Civil Code of The Netherlands is anything said about ownership of the human body and body parts. Houses, roads, trees, animals, corn, even treasures are mentioned in property law, but nothing about human bodies or body parts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOwnership of the Body
EditorsJos V.M Welie, Henk A.m.J ten Have
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-015-9129-4
ISBN (Print)978-90-481-5059-5
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Human Body
  • Body Part
  • Ownership Institution
  • Civil Code
  • Criminal Code

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