Bunting, Adam Peter (2005)
Other thesis, University of Birmingham.
The involvement of the medical profession in everyone’s lives makes an understanding of the law governing the provision of medical treatment extremely important. This thesis argues that there is a logical and coherent structure to this area of the law. This is achieved through the application of key guiding principles to a range of important issues throughout a patient’s life from birth to death. The guiding principles looked at are: self-determination, allowing treatment, best interests, and doctor protection. It is argued that the application of one or more of these guiding principles will determine whether or not treatment will be available in any scenario which the courts may be confronted with. Whilst it is tempting to approach this topic by viewing each scenario involved as a distinct category of medical law it is submitted that this is both overly simplistic and unrealistic. It is more accurate to view the law as a scale, upon which each individual patient forms a distinctly unique point. This graduated concept accepts that the principles which apply will change in a continuing manner whilst still providing a workable method of finding out which principles will be applied by the courts.
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