Moore v. Regents of the University of California

Moore V. Regents Of The University Of California

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Moore v. Regents of the University of California

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Moore v. Regents of the University of California (51 Cal. 3d 120; 271 Cal. Rptr. 146; 793 P.2d 479) was a landmark Supreme Court of California decision filed on July 9, 1990 which dealt with the issue of property rights in one's own body parts. John Moore underwent treatment for hairy cell leukemia at the UCLA Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. David W. Golde. Moore's cancer was later developed into a cell line that was commercialized. The California Supreme Court ruled that Moore had no right to any share of the profits realized from the commercialization of anything developed from his discarded body parts.


John Moore first visited UCLA Medical Center on October 5, 1976, after learning he had hairy-cell leukemia. After hospitalizing Moore and taking blood, bone marrow aspirate, and other bodily fluids, Golde confirmed that diagnosis.

On October 8, 1976, Golde recommended that Moore's spleen be removed. Golde informed Moore that he had reason to fear for his life, and that the proposed splenectomy operation was necessary to slow down the progress of his disease. Based upon Golde's representations, Moore signed a written consent form authorizing the splenectomy, which said the hospital could "dispose of any severed tissue or member by cremation". Surgeons at UCLA Medical Center, whom the complaint did not name as defendants, removed Moore's...
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