Law and death

English closed captions available.

Legal protection of the human body is at the heart of several contemporary debates. In Western culture, the concept of legal personhood is usually associated with the living. However, while the law certainly protects people from their birth until their death, it does not necessarily abandon them when they pass away.

Mariève Lacroix, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, is interested in the legal status of the human cadaver. She explores how the law classifies mortal remains: is a corpse a person or a simple object? In short, do the dead have rights?

Professor Lacroix advocates for fair treatment of the human cadaver and raises questions of ethics and dignity that challenge the Quebec legislative framework. Her research contributes to a renewed consideration of these often taboo legal and social issues, particularly through her collaboration with the Corporation des thanatologues du Québec.

References and Useful Links
  • Lacroix, M., « Le cadavre et sa protection juridique : la situation au Québec », à paraître dans Jean-Pol Beauthier (dir.), Traité de médecine légale, Bruxelles, Bruylant, à paraître en 2021. 
  • Lacroix, M., « Un cadavre « juridiquement » exquis : sujet de droit ou objet de respect? », dans Audrey Deveault et Michaël Lessard (dir.), Mourir au 21e siècle : entre corporalités et technologies, Cowansville, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2020, pp. 9-28. 
  • Lacroix, M. & Torres Ceyte, J., « Les rites funéraires et les obligations juridiques à l’endroit des morts en droit privé québécois », dans Jean-François Boudet (dir.), Les rites et usages funéraires : essais d’anthropologie juridique, Paris, P.U.F., 2019, pp. 93-102. 
  • Lacroix, M. & Mâzouz, A. & Menes-Redorat, V. (dir.), Dialogues entre la mort et le droit, Cowansville, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2017, 180 pp.  
  • Lacroix, M. & Torres Ceyte, J., « Requiem pour un cadavre », (2016) 62 Revue de droit McGill, pp. 487-525. 
About the Researcher

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