Childbirth and the Law

Hardcover | August 1, 2000

byJohn Seymour

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Childbirth and the Law examines aspects of English, United States, Canadian, and Australian law as it applies to the fetus, the pregnant woman, and the doctor or midwife who provides antenatal and perinatal care. A major part of the book consists of a critical examination of the law's attemptsto protect the fetus, which is threatened by conduct such as a criminal assault, maternal drug-taking or parental refusal of medical treatment. The remainder of the work deals with the rapidly expanding and increasingly complex body of law on the liability of obstetricians, general practitioners,and midwives when negligent antenatal or perinatal care has been provided. There are numerous situations in which these health care professionals (or their employees) can be liable to pay damages. They can be sued if their negligence has harmed the mother, caused the birth of an injured, disabled,or stillborn child, or has resulted in the birth of an unwanted child. The book provides a comprehensive statement of the law on antenatal intervention to protect the fetus and on the responsibilities of those who care for pregnant women. By examining the nature of the relationship between apregnant woman and her fetus, and the operation of child protection and criminal laws and the law of negligence John Seymour explores questions about maternal autonomy, the rights of the woman and the fetus, and the role of the law in protecting those rights and providing compensation when somethinggoes wrong.

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Childbirth and the Law examines aspects of English, United States, Canadian, and Australian law as it applies to the fetus, the pregnant woman, and the doctor or midwife who provides antenatal and perinatal care. A major part of the book consists of a critical examination of the law's attemptsto protect the fetus, which is threatened b...

John Seymour is Adjunct Professor of Law at The Australian National University, Canberra

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Format:HardcoverPublished:August 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198264682

ISBN - 13:9780198264682

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPART I: The Current Law2. Legal Intervention when a Fetus is Threatened or Harmed3. Elements of a Negligence Action in Obstetrics and Midwifery4. Negligent Treatment in Obstetrics and Midwifery5. Negligent Failure to Provide Appropriate Information in Obstetrics and Midwifery6. Other Actions in Obstetrics and Midwifery7. The Assessment of DamagesPART II: Assessing the Impact of the Law8. The Legal Status of the Foetus9. A Question of Autonomy?10. Applying the Law of Negligence11. After Birth: Maternal Liability for Antenatal Conduct?12. The Duty of Care in Obstetrics and Midwifery13. The Reality of Negligence Actions and the Need for Reform14. Conclusion: The Role of the LawGlossary of Medical TermsGlossary of Legal Terms

Editorial Reviews

`This book addresses important issues of health care, law and the responsibility of pregnant women and those who care for her towards the unborn. The first part will be of particular interest to health care and legal practitioners, students and others seeking to find out about legalobligations. As the account starts from basic principles and explains the law clearly and comprehensibly, it is accessible to those without legal knowledge. Drawing upon feminist theory, the second part provides a refreshing and thought-provoking analysis of the intervention of the law at thebeginning of life.'Jo Bridgman, Medical Law Review, Autumn 2000