Publication Year



As the body becomes the stuff of which products are made, the issue of its ownership becomes paramount. To date, the most widely significant authority on the subject is the California Supreme Court case Moore v. Regents of the University of California.4 That controversial, and influential, decision held that use by researchers of cells removed from a patient's body did not support an action for conversion-the wrongful taking and use of another's property. 5 The court stated that a patient who unknowingly has cells harvested does not retain a property interest in those cells."