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Medical law and ethics are frequently referred to in conjunction, and appear together in many textbooks. But do they combine to form a cohesive unit, and do they benefit each other? It may be argued that they do not, but rather suffer a symbiotic relationship, clashing rather than cooperating. This book examines this relationship, and how the law sees medical ethics. It then considers whether medical ethics functions in the way that the law thinks that it does.
After providing a historical perspective that identifies medical ethics discourse as disjointed and fragmented, the book continues by examining key medico-legal case law and reports that have an inherent ethical content for clues as to how they define medical ethics and its role. It also considers how medical ethics sees the law, concluding that a misapprehension by each party as to what the other does creates a mutually harmful relationship between them.