A conference on Property Rights in Human Bodies, Tissue and Data, and on Hu...

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Large Moot Court, 2/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus, The University of Hong Kong

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The Centre for Medical Ethics & Law

of The University of Hong Kong

in collaboration with

The Centre for Law, Medicine & Life Sciences

of The University of Cambridge


The Centre of Genomics and Policy of McGill University


PHG Foundation

are pleased to announce

A Conference on “Who Owns Your Body?”

Thursday & Friday, 6 – 7 April 2017

Large Moot Court, 2/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, Centennial Campus,

The University of Hong Kong


How does the law govern the ownership of human bodies? And of its parts, and things derived from it? What are the fundamental legal principles governing claims to ownership, possession and other rights in the human body? What are the ethical, legal, and social impact of applications of materials taken from the human body, particularly in the context of human organ transplantation and the responses arising therefrom? This two-day conference seeks to explore these fundamental questions from ethical, legal, medical, religious and social perspectives. The conference is to give academics and professionals in both the medical and legal professions a survey of the current state of the common law governing property and other interests and rights in the human body, in organs (especially in relation to transplants), in human tissue and other human samples, in ‘waste’ tissue and products. From these basic premises we move on to a consideration of remoter interests ultimately derived from the human body. Under the rubric of these remoter interests, the control, custody, management, ‘ownership’ and the sharing and dissemination (for research or for clinical purposes medical and genetic information derived from the human body can be then explored. The conference will end with a consideration of (again under the general scope of remoter interests) intellectual property rights and claims, particularly in relation likely future developments in competing major jurisdictions.

The objectives of the conference is to establish what the fundamental legal principles are; how these principles affect current and the future development of specific rules in remoter interests; to identify gaps and inconsistencies in current law and practice; to discuss the current tensions between the imperatives of clinical and research use for tissue and information and that of the privacy of the individual, to discuss and suggest how these tensions may be best bridged to mutual benefit; and finally the issue of trust.

Speakers and Roundtable Panelists:

Professor King L. Chow, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology;

Professor Leonardo de Castro, University of the Philippines;

Dr Imogen Goold, University of Oxford;

Professor Guang Xing, Centre of Buddhist Studies, The University of Hong Kong;

Ms Alison Hall, PHG Foundation;

Dr Calvin Ho, National University of Singapore;

Dr Chih-hsing Ho, Academia Sinica, Taiwan;

Professor Terry Kaan, The University of Hong Kong;

Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers, McGill Centre of Genomics & Policy, McGill University;

Mr Alex Lam, Hong Kong Patients’ Voices;

Professor Tohru Masui, Center for Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Keio University;

Mr Colm McGrath, University of Cambridge;

Dr Jeff Skopek, University of Cambridge;

Dato Dr Zahari Noor, Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Government of Malaysia

Dr Ron Zimmern, PHG Foundation



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