Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Beneficence on unborn patients treated in wombs vs. autonomy of pregnant women: A legal stan...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Contentious Issues

Beneficence on unborn patients treated in wombs vs. autonomy of pregnant women: A legal standpoint

Author:

A. P. Prabhashini Rathnayake

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Ratmalana, LK
About A. P.
Faculty of Law
X close

Abstract

The 21st century marked increased emphasis on fetal rights which has resulted in the development of advanced medical procedures such as fetal surgery. Fetal surgery has been considered as a starting point of the maternal – fetal conflict owing to the fact that it involves two patients; the fetus and mother. Recognition of fetal patients has caused controversies in the field of law when determining issues pertaining to medical negligence and pre- birth injury. Legal scholars argue on the fact of imposing medical malpractice liability on physicians when fetal patients are injured during surgery. In addition, the “glorification” of the fetus while considering the termination of pregnancy as a secondary option is disputed by feminists. The reason is that, the termination of pregnancy signifies bodily independence of women and autonomy. The author, in this article has adapted a qualitative approach of methodology with a normative and content analysis. The author has discussed primary and secondary sources of law including foreign domestic legislations namely the Abortion Act 1967 (amended by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990) in the United Kingdom, The Offences against Persons Act 1861 and The Infant Life Preservation Act 1929. The central focus of the article is on the United Kingdom as an illustrative jurisdiction. The basic focus of this article is directed to study whether there is a conflict of rights between fetal patients and pregnant women in the face of the law of tort, medical law and ethics and to suggest the incorporation of the ‘Two-Patient Model’ to balance conflicting interests while discussing the Chervenak and McCullough’s ethical framework.
How to Cite: Rathnayake, A.P.P., 2022. Beneficence on unborn patients treated in wombs vs. autonomy of pregnant women: A legal standpoint. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 13(2), pp.31–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v13i2.7901
0
Views
22
Downloads
Published on 16 Dec 2022.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus