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All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines the law on abortion, beginning with a survey of the ongoing debate over the moral legitimacy of abortion. It then examines the current legal position, and considers how the Abortion Act 1967, as amended, works in practice. It looks at recent controversies over sex-selective abortion and considers the prospects for law reform. Finally, the chapter looks briefly at the regulation of abortion in Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the United States.

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All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter discusses the regulation of assisted conception. It first examines the regulation of assisted conception in the UK, which involves a detailed look at the legislation: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, and the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The chapter analyses: the licensing procedures through which clinics are inspected and authorized to perform certain procedures; access to treatment; consent to the use of gametes (sperm and eggs); gamete donation; rules governing the parentage of children; and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). It also considers mitochondrial transfer and genome editing.

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All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter examines assisted dying. It looks at the current law, with particular emphasis upon the pressures currently being exerted on the status quo through British patients travelling to Dignitas in Switzerland for assisted suicides. The implications of the Nicklinson and Conway decisions are considered. The chapter sets out arguments for and against the legalization of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide; and examines other countries’ experience with decriminalization.

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G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of biomedical research. After highlighting the evolution and acceleration of rule-making in this setting, it differentiates between research and experimentation, and articulates a core regulatory concept, namely risk. It then covers ethical codes and legal instruments in human biomedical research, research ethics committees, randomised controlled trials, and experimental treatment, paying particular attention to informed consent and research involving people lacking capacity. It also addresses the unethical researcher, compensation for personal injury in research, research involving human tissue and personal data, and new approaches to research governance.

Chapter

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter examines the question of the limits set on our right to control our bodies or parts thereof. This debate has centred on the very important issue of our relationship with our body, and the status of the body, which has most recently been shaped by ideas of property. The chapter considers three aspects of that debate: property in material taken from living persons; property in material taken from cadavers; and the granting of intellectual property rights in human material.

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G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses: the nature of the duty of care in the action for wrongful pregnancy; legal action for wrongful birth; wrongful (or diminished) life actions; and wrongful injury to the fetus and feticide.

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This chapter examines detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 of people who have not become involved with the criminal system. It shows that traditional justifications for detention have focused on dangerousness to self or others and the need for care and treatment. In recent years a new model has emerged, advocating the combination of mental capacity law and mental health law; and the new United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also raises a whole new set of questions about compulsion and detention.

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All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter first summarizes the rules governing experiments on animals and explains the meaning of ‘research’. It then examines: international ethical codes and the UK’s regulatory system; the role of ethics committees in authorizing and monitoring research; whether the benefits and burdens of research participation are evenly distributed; conflicts of interests and publication ethics; and compensation for injuries sustained as a result of participation in research.

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This chapter examines the delivery of community care services. It discusses services for mentally disordered persons; the entitlement, nature, and scope of the duties owed under the National Health Service and Community Care Act (NHSCCA 1990); alternative mechanisms for securing services; and the use of personal budgets and direct payments. The chapter argues that most of the time, local social service authorities and National Health Service bodies do cooperate reasonably well in the delivery of community care services, particularly for service users with learning disabilities. The draft the Care and Support Bill holds the potential to radically simplify the legal framework in which community care services are delivered, making the system more transparent and intelligible to both users and professionals. The increased use of personal budgets and direct payments could empower service users in a way that has not been possible in the past.

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This chapter begins with brief descriptions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), and then discusses who the insane; the complex relationship between mental illness and medicine; the statutory definition of mental disorder and the scope of the MHA; mental health care; and sources of mental health law.

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All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter first examines the ethical justifications for protecting patient confidentiality and then discusses: the different legal sources of the duty of confidence, including the new General Data Protection Regulation; exceptions to the duty of confidence; and the remedies available for its breach. It briefly considers patients’ rights to gain access to their medical records. Finally, the chapter covers the implications of ‘big data’ and machine learning for healthcare, and the increasing use of mobile technology in order to generate, store and transmit health data, known as mHealth.

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This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of medical confidentiality. The discussion include the legal basis of confidentiality; defences to claims of breach of confidentiality; the Data Protection Act 1998; legal remedies in confidentiality cases; patient access to their own health information; and ethical arguments for and against confidentiality. Underpinning this chapter is the tension between requiring that a patient’s confidences are kept and the fact that sometimes there is an overwhelming reason why confidentiality needs to be breached. A further difficulty for this topic is that once confidentiality has been breached it can be very difficult to formulate an effective legal remedy.

Chapter

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of medical confidentiality. The discussion include the legal basis of confidentiality; defences to claims of breach of confidentiality; the Data Protection Act 1998; legal remedies in confidentiality cases; patient access to their own health information; and ethical arguments for and against confidentiality. Underpinning this chapter is the tension between requiring that a patient’s confidences are kept and the fact that sometimes there is an overwhelming reason why confidentiality needs to be breached. A further difficulty for this topic is that once confidentiality has been breached it can be very difficult to formulate an effective legal remedy.

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This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of treating a patient without consent. It considers the meaning of ‘consent’ and the position of patients who lack the capacity to consent. For children who lack capacity, consent involves a delicate balance between the rights of the children and those of their parents. For adults lacking capacity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has emphasized the ‘best interests’ test, but has largely left open the question of how a person’s best interests are to be ascertained. The chapter also considers what weight should be attached to advance decisions (sometimes called living wills).

Chapter

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of treating a patient without consent. It considers the meaning of ‘consent’ and the position of patients who lack the capacity to consent. For children who lack capacity, consent involves a delicate balance between the rights of the children and those of their parents. For adults lacking capacity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has emphasized the ‘best interests’ test, but has largely left open the question of how a person’s best interests are to be ascertained. The chapter also considers what weight should be attached to advance decisions (sometimes called living wills).

Chapter

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of patient consent. It covers the limits to consent (including the context of the unconscious patient and adults lacking capacity); the refusal of treatment by capacitous adults and others; the consequences of proceeding without consent; and the negligence action and the vagaries of information disclosure.

Chapter

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of contraception, abortion, and pregnancy. Topics discussed include the use and function of contraception; the availability of contraception; teenage pregnancy rates; tort liability and contraception; ethical issues concerning contraception; the law on abortion; the legal status of the foetus; abortion ethics; and controversial abortions. A major current issue is the extent to which, if at all, the criminal law should be involved in the law of abortion. The chapter also considers arguments on legal interventions for pregnant women; for example, imprisoning a drug-using mother to ensure that her unborn child does not suffer from the consequences of her drug use.

Chapter

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of contraception, abortion, and pregnancy. Topics discussed include the use and function of contraception; the availability of contraception; teenage pregnancy rates; tort liability and contraception; ethical issues concerning contraception; the law on abortion; the legal status of the foetus; abortion ethics; and controversial abortions. A major current issue is the extent to which, if at all, the criminal law should be involved in the law of abortion. The chapter also considers arguments on legal interventions for pregnant women; for example, imprisoning a drug-using mother to ensure that her unborn child does not suffer from the consequences of her drug use.

Chapter

This chapter examines the extent, scope, and current usage of the various powers by which some degree of compulsion can be imposed on a patient to accept services in the community. It discusses leave and recall; guardianship; community treatment orders; and after-care under s. 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Chapter

G. T. Laurie, S. H. E. Harmon, and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of controlling fertility and birth. It addresses the highly contested concept of personhood, as well as contraception, contragestation, sterilisation, and termination of pregnancy, and the increasing use of conscientious objection by care givers.