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Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

Anne-Maree Farrell and Edward S. Dove

This classic textbook, now in its 40th year, focuses on medical law and its relationship with medical ethics and practice. It provides thorough coverage of key topics found on medical law courses, and in-depth analysis of recent court decisions and legislation, encouraging students to think critically about this area of study. The textbook covers the whole field of modern ethical medical practice, making the book suitable for use on all undergraduate and postgraduate medical law courses. It presents a diversity of views in ethical debates, provides analysis of significant new cases and key legislative developments, and encourages students to explore and form their own opinions on contested issues in medical law. It adopts a UK-wide approach to the examination of medical law, taking account of the impact of devolution and Brexit, as well as the influence of international policy and legal developments in shaping medical law in the UK. Among other updates to this edition include brand new ethics chapters that introduce students to concepts, theories, and tools that frame interpretation and analysis of medical law, as well as new or revised chapters in the governance of the UK health system, public health, the regulation of health and social care professionals, and mental health.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

10. Ethico-Legal Issues Affecting Children  

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

This chapter examines a range of ethico-legal issues as the impact on children. The focus is one consent of mature minors, and the limits therefore, and also on the range of rights and responsibilities relating to children concerning protection of the ir personal data. The chapter then discusses ethical and legal aspects of non-therapeutic research on children; therapeutic research on children; foetal research and experimentation; and embryos and embryonic stem cell research.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

15. Contraception and Abortion  

A. M. Farrell and E. S. Dove

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of controlling fertility and birth. It begins by addressing the highly contested concept of personhood, before turning to consider varying forms of contraception, including contragestation and sterilisation (with a focus on non-consensual sterilisation of individuals judged to lack capacity). The chapter then considers the termination of pregnancy (including approaches across the UK and Ireland, and looking at how the law has evolved with regard to abortion), the position of the non-gestational parent, and the use of conscientious objection by care givers. The chapter concludes with a discussion on foetal research and experimentation, and foetal materials.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law

10. Clinical Research  

This chapter first summarizes the rules governing experiments on animals. It then examines international codes of research ethics 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.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

20. Biomedical Human Research and Experimentation  

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

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

6. Health Research and Innovation  

A. M. Farrell and E. S. Dove

This chapter covers the regulatory environment of health research and biotechnological innovation in the UK, with some specific focus on genomics (including gene editing), artificial intelligence, and brain organoids. The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the limitations and strengths of a regulatory regime that enables (or thwarts) research into life-saving treatments and vaccines, as well as the importance of sharing data within and across organisations and institutions to address health emergencies. The chapter covers the governance of health research (focusing on biomedical research), the regimes that seek to promote innovation in science and medicine while accounting for the risks of biomedical research, as well as the development of research ethics codes. Following Brexit, the UK’s regulatory landscape for health research is somewhat in flux, with a flurry of policy papers and consultations regarding proposed legislative reform. As such, it remains to be seen what the contours of the landscape will be, and whether it promotes or hinders innovation—and creates fewer or greater risks for patients and research participants.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

6. Medical Confidentiality  

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

This chapter discusses ethical and legal aspects of medical confidentiality. It covers the relationship between confidentiality and data protection law; the possible exceptions to the confidentiality rule; confidentiality and the legal process; confidentiality for the purposes of medical research; patient access to medical records; remedies for breach of confidentiality; and confidentiality and death.