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Do Dead Bodies Have Rights?

Discussion in 'Constitutional Law & Civil Rights' started by Anon-e-Mouse, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Anon-e-Mouse

    Anon-e-Mouse Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Sorry, I know this sounds like a dumb question, but a friend of mine has marfan syndrome which means he's unusually tall. He was depressed when he found out that he can't donate his body to a medical school after he dies because they have a height limit on donated bodies. He is a foot taller than the maximum height they will accept. Another friend suggested that this is illegal discrimination because he is a member of a protected class.

    This is what made me wonder if his body is still a member of a protected class after his passing. I'm thinking that dead bodies don't have civil rights, but wondering if I'm wrong about that?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No.

    The five protected classes of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are: race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

    Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. (The Civil Rights Act of 1991)

    Age (40 and over) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

    Disability status – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

    Veteran status – Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

    Sex – Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Sexual orientation and gender identity, (Bostock v. Clayton County – Civil Rights Act of 1964)



    Your thinking is correct.

    Once a human being is deceased, other than losing it's life, it loses it's rights.

    The only protection prohibits others from "mutilating or molesting the human remains, as in "corpse".
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    He can consider being an organ donor.
     
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  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Some people believe that body donation can be expensive. On the contrary, there are no direct costs for donating your body to science. In fact, it can even save you and your family from paying funeral costs.

    Should you consider donating your body to science:

    Just Ask Us: How do I donate my body to science?

    http://www.funeralswi.org/whole_body_donation__in_Wisconsin.pdf

    http://www.research-for-life.org/

    Cremation Metal Recycling & Crematory Supplier, MI | Implant Recycling

    Donate Body to Science

    Commonly Asked Questions | Duke School of Medicine

    FAQ: Body donation to science
     
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  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Not all medical schools have a height limit. The medical school of the university where I work does not, although they are not currently accepting donations until the pandemic is over. Still, it can't hurt for him to contact a few other schools directly.
     
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  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    He has an unusual medical condition that might in some situations amount to a disability. However, even if it is a disability, protection against discrimination discrimination only applies in four situations under federal law: (1) employment, (2) when going to a place of public accommodation (i.e going to a store, theater, etc), (3) when accessing public transportation, and (4) in education and other programs that receive federal funding. His situation does not fall into any of those, and thus there isn't even an issue of being part of protected class, dead or alive.
     
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  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    They have the same rights as cars, rocks, paper clips, toothpaste and tacos (i.e., none).

    Who are "they"? A quick google search indicates either 154 or 155 schools in the U.S. that are accredited to give MD degrees and another 36-38 that give DO degrees. Has your friend checked with all of those schools? What about medical research facilities not not associated with a medical school (e.g., the Mayo Clinic)? What about the Marfan Foundation?

    Suffice to say that the person who made this suggestion is ignorant about how the laws of discrimination work. Among other things, everyone is a member of many "protected classes" (or, stated differently, there is no such thing as a "protected class").

    You're not. This issue in no way implicates civil rights (or really any legal issue at all)
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    My wife can't give certain blood products because she's short. She's alive and it's still not a violation of her rights.

    My father-in-law donated his body to Rutgers medical school. He always said that was the only way he'd get in. What we (and notedly my mother-in-law) hadn't realized is that they send the remains BACK after they are done with him.
     
  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! By FedEx or something? Do you get notified that they are sending the remains or does it just show up at your front door in a big box?
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    It was cremated. It showed up without notice about the size of a shoebox. The only problem is that mama forgot where she put him (she was just starting to be in the throws of Alzheimers). I found the box when we moved her to the old age home and put it in our house for safekeeping. My wife was telling this story to someone and said "Papa is under mom's bed at the old age home." I said, "Nope. He's in the hall closet."

    When his wife finally passed, we tucked his remains in with her body in the casket.
     
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