Arguing that the state must meet strict conditions to justify interfering in at-risk pregnancies, Deborah Mathieu examines the legal and ethical concerns that arise when governments mandate the behavior of pregnant women. She explores both the pregnant woman's right to decide what happens to her body and the future child's right to be protected from avoidable damage. Mathieu addresses such topics as reproductive hazards in the workplace, mandated fetal therapy, forced lifestyle changes for pregnant women, and the future child's right to sue for lack of prenatal care. The controversy raises key issues of rights, duties, and the scope of legitimate state action, thus posing fundamental challenges to the fields of medicine, biomedical ethics, law, and public policy.
This edition has been completely updated and expanded. Mathieu presents new arguments for acceptable types of state intervention and provides specific examples. This edition also incorporates recent court decisions, especially cases involving substance abuse. The book includes both an updated bibliography and an updated reference list of relevant court cases.