Is it lawful for a doctor to give a patient life-shortening pain relief? Can treatment be lawfully provided to a child under 16 on the basis of her consent alone? Is it lawful to remove food and water provided by tube to a patient in a vegetative state? Is a woman’s refusal of a caesarean section recommended for the benefit of the fetus legally decisive? These questions were central to the four focal cases revisited in this book.
This book revisits nine landmark cases. For each, a new leading judgment is attributed to an imagined judge, Athena, who operates within the constraints of the legal system of England and Wales. Her judgments accord with an innovative legal theory, referred to as ‘modified law as integrity’, and are linked as a line of precedent. The result is a re-spinning of extant judicial threads into a web of legal principles with a greater claim to coherence and defensibility than those in the original cases.
The book will be of great interest to scholars and students of medical law, criminal law, bioethics, legal theory and moral philosophy.
Chapter 1: The rationale and method of revisiting medical law cases
Chapter 2: Adams: life-shortening pain relief
Chapter 3: Gillick: consent from a child
Chapter 4: Bland: patients in a vegetative state
Chapter 5: Re MB: refusal of treatment in late pregnancy
Chapter 6: Conclusion: revisiting five further cases
Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.
In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.