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PE01442: The body upon death becomes part of the estate


Petitioner: Douglas Reid


Date Lodged: 07 September 2012

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the law to provide that a person’s dead body is part of their estate and in effect clearly invokes their will.

Petition History:

The petitioner has also collected 197 offline signatures.


30 October 2012: The Committee took evidence from Douglas Reid. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, university anatomy departments, Her Majesty's Inspector of Anatomy for Scotland and the Scottish Law Commission. Link to Official Report 30 October 2012 (474KB pdf)

8 January 2013: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 on the grounds that the Scottish Government, HM Inspector of Anatomy for Scotland and others have set out their reasons for not seeking any legislative change. Link to Official Report 8 January 2013 (474KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

Being an outright supporter of maintaining citizens’ rights I was astounded to find out that having painstakingly drawn up my last will and testament, which I believed to be sacrosanct, one wish – that after my death my body be used for medical research, can be over-turned or influenced by a member of my family.  This is possible because in law your dead body is not part of your estate.  Surely in this enlightened 21st Century this must be amended.

It should be like an organ doner card. If you carry one, your wishes should be respected!

Jill McKenzie

0:00 on 25 Aug 2012

There may be other legal routes to achieve this worthwhile end. The Scottish Government should pursue these if the Petitioner's exact proposal is not accepted.

Arthur Jarrett

8:14 on 24 Aug 2012

If that was the persons wish & it was known irrespective of whether he had left a will or not - his wishes shown be adhered to. This Law is out of place in the way we live our lives in this 21st century. and our government should replace this 1964 Law we are subjected to.- 50years out of date.

Elinore P Drummond.

13:48 on 24 Jul 2012

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