The Law and Ethics of Medicine: Essays on the Inviolability of Human Life

Hardcover | May 26, 2012

byJohn Keown

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The Law and Ethics of Medicine: Essays on the Inviolability of Life explains the principle of the sanctity of human life and its continuing relevance to English law governing aspects of medical practice at the beginning and end of life. The book shows that the principle, though widely recognized as an historic and foundational principle of the common law, has been misunderstood in the medico-legal context, even by legal academics, legal practitioners, and judges. Part I of the book identifies the confusion and clarifies theprinciple, not least by distinguishing it from 'vitalism' on the one hand and a 'qualitative' evaluation of human life on the other. Part II addresses legal aspects of the beginning of life, including the history of the law against abortion and its relevance to the ongoing debate in the US; the lawrelating to the 'morning after' pill; and the legal status of the human embryo in vitro. Part III addresses legal aspects of the end of life, including euthanasia; the withdrawal of tube-feeding from patients in a 'persistent vegetative state'; and palliative treatment.This unique collection of essays offers a much-needed clarification of a cardinal ethical and legal principle and should be of interest to lawyers, bioethicists, and healthcare professionals (whether they subscribe to the principle or not) in all common law jurisdictions and beyond.

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The Law and Ethics of Medicine: Essays on the Inviolability of Life explains the principle of the sanctity of human life and its continuing relevance to English law governing aspects of medical practice at the beginning and end of life. The book shows that the principle, though widely recognized as an historic and foundational principl...

John Keown holds the Rose Kennedy Chair in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, one of the world's premier centres of research into ethics. Having graduated in law from Cambridge he took a doctorate at Oxford and was then called to the Bar of England and Wales. Before being elected to the Rose Kennedy Chair he t...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pagesPublished:May 26, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199589550

ISBN - 13:9780199589555

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Table of Contents

Introduction and OverviewPart I: (Mis)Understanding the Inviolability of Life1. The 'Inviolability of Life', 'Best Interests', and 'Autonomy': A Summary2. Surveying the Foundations of Medical Law: A Reassessment of Glanville Williams's The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law 3. Building on Williams's Shaky Foundations? The Inviolability of Life and Ian Kennedy4. Restoring the Inviolability of Life and Replacing the Caricature: A Reply to David PricePart II: The Beginning of Life5. Back to the Future of Abortion Law: Roe's Rejection of America's History and Traditions6. 'Morning After' Pills, 'Miscarriage', and Muddle7. Person, Chattel, or Dolphin? The Legal Status of the Human Embryo In Vitro8. The Scope of the Offence of Child DestructionPart III: The End(ing) of Life9. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Evaluating the Arguments10. Euthanasia in Europe: Some Reflections on Marty, Pretty, and Purdy11. Palliative Care: An Ethical and Legal Duty?12. Tube-Feeding the Permanently Comatose: Restoring Moral and Intellectual Shape to the Law after Bland13. Epilogue