The author considers that some of the reasonings used by both the American and English courts against recognising a wrongful life claim are far from persuasive. However, there may indeed be strong public policy reasons against judicial recognition of such a claim. If judicial remedy is not possible for children in wrongful life situations, society ought to assist them in the alleviation of some of the practical problems caused by deformities. (+info)
International developments in abortion laws: 1977-88.
During the period between 1977 and the first quarter of 1988, 35 countries liberalized their abortion laws and four countries limited grounds for the procedure. Most legislation has extended abortion eligibility through traditional indications such as danger to maternal health or fetal handicap, but a number of other indications have been created such as adolescence, advanced maternal age, family circumstances, and AIDS or HIV infection. A number of countries have redesigned their abortion laws as part of a comprehensive package to facilitate access to and delivery of contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion services. Abortion litigation has increased and stimulated the liberalization of abortion provisions and the support of women's autonomous choice within the law. In Canada, the entire criminal prohibition of abortion was held unconstitutional for violating women's integrity and security. In contrast, Latin American and other constitutional developments may limit legal abortion to instances of danger to women's lives. (+info)
Terminating life-sustaining treatment--recent US developments.
This paper reviews some recent litigation in the United States which addresses the difficult question of withdrawing food and hydration from both competent and incompetent patients. Whilst the decisions in question have manifested a trend towards favouring patient autonomy, they also indicate an underlying tension between doctors, health care facilities and their dying patients which is not yet close to resolution. The author suggests that the courts in the United States are likely to remain, for the foreseeable future, the final arbiters in that country of disputes relating to the termination of life-sustaining treatment. (+info)
When caesarean section operations imposed by a court are justified.
Court-ordered caesarean sections against the explicit wishes of the pregnant woman have been criticised as violations of the woman's fundamental right to autonomy and to the inviolability of the person--particularly, so it is argued, because the fetus in utero is not yet a person. This paper examines the logic of this position and argues that once the fetus has passed a certain stage of neurological development it is a person, and that then the whole issue becomes one of balancing of rights: the right-to-life of the fetal person against the right to autonomy and inviolability of the woman; and that the fetal right usually wins. (+info)