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Defaming the Dead$
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Don Herzog

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300221541

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300221541.001.0001

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Corpse Desecration

Corpse Desecration

(p.159) V Corpse Desecration
Defaming the Dead

Don Herzog

Yale University Press

An exploration of how we and the law think about corpse desecration. The chapter explores skeptical arguments that it can’t be an injury to the dead person, the history of revulsion against such desecration, and how the law came to see it not just as a crime but also as a tort – against the survivors, not the dead person. It reproduces and analyzes art by Goya and Veber. And it closes by examining a series of recent cases, including autopsies gone awry, and not least that of a mortuary worker who liked to get high and have sex with corpses.

Keywords:   corpse desecration, Goya, Veber, tort, crime

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