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Can a corpse become property?
#1
After viewing some videos and reading some books, this question popped into my head. Can a corpse/dead body become someone/something's property? Why is it that museums (Such as Body Worlds) own these dead bodies? You can argue that these bodies were donated, but if that's the case, why can the museum own them but not a regular person like yourself? What if you were a slave? Your owner technically owns everything about you, dead or alive. Why can only medical practices own a corpse but not the general public?

What are your thoughts about this? Positive? Negative? What do you think should be the fate of a corpse? If you think a corpse can be owned, what are some limits to it? Who can own a corpse? Rich people? Politicians? What laws should there be? Express your thoughts here!
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#2
As far as I know the only way to own a Corpse is for the person's last will to state that. Most dead bums on the street end up as cadavers for medical schools.
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#3
Technically you can have a corpse in your possession, but it exists in the form of ash and bone fragments. Unless that doesn't count, then I'd propose that keeping your gran's corpse in a glass box in the guest room is both cumbersome and terrifying to everyone who has the misfortune to be your friend and none of the open-mindednessof death. Preservation isn't exactly cheap, and it lasts only for so long. (Except in the case of Pope John XXIII, as his mummified body is able to be seen at St. Peter's Basilica) I would rather not have a body in my house though. Lol

In general, you 'own' a body when the person has written it in their will and testament when they were alive. For John Does, I suppose it may not have been their wish to be cremated, but I'd rather that than have a pile of bodies littering the cemeteries and gathering pestilence. Might be a spiritual thing, with the whole "from the dirt we are born, and to the dirt we return" idea. (Or is it dust, idr).

I suppose the people to own a corpse can only be the family of the person. But in the cases of museums it is a slippery slope. It's all in the name of education, I'm sure, and some are to preserve cultural traditions that are lost in the modern world, but those are 'exceptional' bodies. For mummies and the like, I don't know the ethics for that, because their contextual period of life was far different from ours. 

In the mid 2000s, there was a Chinese cadaver exhibit that was available for a limited time; I went to it when I was about 8 (not sure how I didn't have nightmares. Maybe it just didn't register to me that those were actual bodies put up for display back then), and a lasting controversy was how they got their hands on them. 

I don't see a point in some people "owning" a body and not others. Especially when "owning" abody is ambiguous in itself. There have been headlines of people who would have a preserved body of their loved one in their house before, but they mostly were outside the US. Maybe it's not something I take issue with as long as the person's will and testament is honored. If they said you can have their body, you can! I guess.

I mean, if you wanna own a corpse that has been agreed to in writing before their death, feel free, but uh... 
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#4
Well like you said, if the person says they want you to own them, then you can own them... some of my friends like to bring that up as a means of pointing out cannibalism as legal... not sure how tru that is though...
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#5
There was a man in Germany put on trial for murder because he cannibalized a man. It was voluntary and agreed among the two of them (It's easy to find the article, but it's best not to read it on a full stomach since it details what went down). Apparently they arranged for it over the internet.
So even voluntary cannibalism counts as murder in the eyes of the law enforcement, until they figured out Germany did not have cannibalism listed as illegal, and the case was very complicated to proceed with charges for murder since the victim agreed to it.

The case is about 13 years old, so I'll edit in the verdict if I find it.
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#6
As people already said, if the person allowed it in their will, then yeah.

Though I personally think corpse should not be property, unless specifically stated by the person before their death. Don't know how this translated into the medical field, but I think that should get the pass since they are using for medical purposes. You're dead, so you won't be using the body anytime soon.
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