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Type: Book chapter
Title: A court of morals, a court of law, or a little bit of both?
Author: Richards, B.J.
Citation: Religion matters: the contemporary relevance of religion, 2020 / Babie, P., Sarre, R. (ed./s), Ch.4, pp.55-66
Publisher: Springer Nature
Publisher Place: Singapore
Issue Date: 2020
ISBN: 9811524890
Editor: Babie, P.
Sarre, R.
Statement of
Bernadette J. Richards
Abstract: The provision of healthcare was once relatively straightforward. Based upon the Hippocratic tradition, the doctor/patient relationship was not a partnership, rather there was an unequal relationship where an all knowing-and one would hope, all caring-doctor provided treatment in a manner consistent with their specific view of the world. There were few ethical or legal complexities and individual preferences were relevant only insofar as they impacted on the doctor’s clinical decision making. Medicine and the human condition have, however, moved on from this simpler time and there are deep complexities to be found at the intersection of law, religion and the provision of healthcare. This chapter explores this intersection and considers the ongoing struggle to respect the interests of all parties in the healthcare relationship, concluding that, despite the often competing priorities of healthcare providers, individual patients, regulatory regimes and religious organisations, there are a core set of principles that are appropriately supported in our current regulatory framework. These include: respect for individual dignity and autonomy, freedom of choice, and the inviolability of human life. This conclusion will be supported through a consideration of five ‘salient principles’ raised by the Archbishop of Westminster and considered by the court in the complex decision of Re A (Children) (Conjoined Twins: Surgical Separation) [2001] 2 WLR 480.
Rights: © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-2489-9_4
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