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In American law: Finder gets the thing if it is lost, owner gets it if it is mislaidVALUES SUBJECT TO OWNERSHIP (III-1)•PersonhoodoWhether there are certain interests that are inappropriate for treatment as property because they are too closely connected to personhood. oProperty and the Human BodyNewman v. Sathyavaglswaran (III-2) (coroner removed the child’s corneas without the notification of consent of parents) Held that•States must provide due process of law to parents before removing the corneas oUnder current California law, the coroner can only remove corneas if the consent form was issued by the donor or was obtained by next of kinoThe burden is on the state to provide notice to the next of kinoThe question is whether the next of kin have a property interest in the corneas, regardless of them being labeled “quasi-property”oDissent: caring for deceased is a duty not a rightMoore v. Regents of the University of California (III-12) (D treated P and told P that he will remove his spleen and use it for research. Did not tell him that the cells from the spleen could be worth a lot of money. P sued for conversion and breach of disclosure duty by physician) Held that•Conversion - a tort that protects against interference with possessory and ownership interest in personal property
•A person does not have property rights in his spleen following its removal from his bodyoTo establish conversion, P must establish an actual interference with his ownership or rights of possessionP did not intent to retain possession of his spleen must prove ownership of what they donated after the donation CA law does not support the premise that a donor retains ownership of what is removed•Has a right to sue the doctors for failure to disclose their economic interest in the spleenHecht v. Superior Court (III-25) (O died and in his will left his sperm to P. O’s family wanted the sperm destroyed. Lower court ordered the sperm destroyed. P appealed.) held that•Sperm deposited in a sperm bank is the property of the donor and could be devised by willoFrozen embryo is neither a person nor property but is entitled special respect because of the potential for human life – in dispute, party that wants to have child prevails over destructors unless party wants to donate, then destructors prevailoIt is not decided whether sperm is propopertyoArtists’ Moral Rights (III-33)Should artists retain some control over the use their creations are put by future owners?Moakley v. Eastwick (P, artist, sues D, church, for unauthorized demolition of a mosaic created by P.) Held thatArt Preservation Act•Moral rights of artists derives from protecting artist’s reputation.