Do dead people have rights? This is the question raised by Sir Liam Donaldson's proposal that dead people should be presumed to be organ donors, unless they had opted out.
The idea has provoked hostility. "Our bodies belong to us, not the state" says Longrider.
But things aren't so simple. We have rights over our bodies whilst we are alive. But no-one thinks we have untrammeled rights to decide what to do with our bodies after death: I have no right to expect my body to be left to decompose on Hampstead Heath.
And many rights - such as the right to vote - die with us. Why should this not be true of the right to control our bodies? How can the dead have rights over their own organs?
The puzzle deepens because the dead have neither interests nor duties. To claim that the dead have rights, therefore, is to claim that rights can exist where interests do not, and that rights are not correlative of duties.
Kirsten Rabe Smolensky tries one answer here - the dignity theory. People, she says, have an innate desire to respect the dead. Giving the dead limited rights is a way of expressing this desire.
But why does this desire trump the desire of people with organ failure to receive a transplant? It's not obvious to me.