This book offers a critical analysis of some of the guiding principles and assumptions that have been central to the development and identity of medical law. Focusing on several key cases in the field - including the 'Dianne Pretty' and 'Conjoined Twins' cases - the book scrutinizes the notions of autonomy and human rights, and explores the relationship between medical law and moral conflict. It also asks what role, if any, the courts might play in stimulating public debate about the ethics of controversial developments in medicine and biomedical science. This innovative book will be of interest to academics and students working in the areas of medical law, legal theory, bioethics and medical ethics. It will also appeal to those within the medical and health care professions seeking a critical analysis of the development and operation of medical law.
Contents: Introduction; Part 1: Jurisdiction and academic medical law; Medical law in context. Part 2: Autonomy: Kant, bioethics, and medical ethics; Medical law and conceptions of autonomy. Part 3: Human rights and the power of medical law; Moral conflict, debate, and medical law; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.