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Vol 23 No 2 Feb/March 2018

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Cover of The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 8: 2016-2017 Legal Year

The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 8: 2016-2017 Legal Year

Edited by: Daniel Clarry
Price: £120.00

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Rights, Duties and the Body: Law and Ethics of the Maternal-Fetal Conflict

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Rosamund ScottLecturer in Law, School of Law and the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, King's College London

ISBN13: 9781841131344
ISBN: 1841131342
Published: August 2002
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £100.00

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This volume addresses the law and ethics concerning a pregnant woman's refusal of medical treatment needed by the fetus she carries. In England and some U.S. states a pregnant woman can now refuse such treatment. Nevertheless, courts have acknowledged the residual ethical dilemmas, sometimes adverting to the inappropriateness here of legal compulsion of presumed moral duties. This leaves the impression of an uncomfortable split between the ethics and the law. The idea of a pregnant woman refusing medical treatment needed by the fetus is troubling and it helps little simply to assert her legal right to do so. At the same time, however, the idea that a pregnant woman fails in her moral duty unless she accepts any recommended treatment or surgery - however great the burdens - is not without difficulty. This study, which seeks a way between these two somewhat polarized positions, seeks to explain and justify a pregnant woman's legal right to refuse medical treatment and thus resolve, so far as possible, the surrounding ethical, legal and social tensions.

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Medical Law
General introduction - the problem and the issues raised: what is the ""maternal-fetal conflict""?; the relationship between the ethics and the law of the maternal-fetal conflict; the structure of the book.
Part 1 The moral relationship between a pregnant woman and her fetus - exploring a woman's moral rights and duties: the relation of the fetus to the pregnant woman - autonomy, rights and duties - some brief theoretical groundwork, the fetus of the future child?, the moral status of the fetus, conclusions; the relation of the pregnant woman to the fetus - the interface between her moral rights and duties - introduction, the argument from rights, the argument from duty, conclusions; conclusions to part 1.
Part 2 The legal arguments from rights: introduction to the maternal-fetal cases and the law of treatment refusal - setting the scene, the law of treatment refusal, the most recent caesarean cases, conclusions; understanding the values underlying and justifying a pregnant woman's legal right to refuse treatment - introduction, the development of the ""ordinary"" competent patient's right to refuse treatment, setting Casey in context, the relationship between a woman's right to refuse treatment (or abort) and her responsibility toward the fetus, postscript - first thoughts on denying a pregnant woman the legal right to refuse treatment, conclusions; conclusions to part 2.
Part 3 The legal arguments from duty: ""technical"" arguments from abortion law - introduction, the relevance of further aspects of abortion law to the maternal-fetal conflict, conclusions; arguments from tort law; - introduction, third-party liability for prenatal harm, the idea of maternal liability; arguments from rescue law - introduction, the law of rescue, moral and policy reasons against the compelled caesarean section; moral, policy and legal reasons against compelled ingestion of the ""beneficial pill"", postscript - reflections on cases concerning incompetents, conclusions; conclusions to part 3. Concluding the arguments.