The Public Interest

Tissue transplants: The dilemma of the body’s growing value

Emanuel D. Thorne

Winter 1990

JEREMY Bentham, in an 1831 essay entitled “Of What Use is a Dead Man to the Living? . .” argued that autopsies should be allowed because of the usefulness of human bodies to research. Indeed, Bentham invited his friends to observe the dissection of his own body upon his death. He thought, moreover, that men of exceptional quality could inspire future generations of thinkers by their physical presence; in that spirit, each year since Bentham’s death in 1832, the trustees of Londons University College have brought out his preserved body during their annual deliberations.

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