Tag Archives: Ethics

What is “Proper Medical Treatment”?

Dr Sara Fovargue, Lancaster University
Dr Alexandra Mullock, University of Manchester

The relationship between medical practice and criminal law is much closer than many realise. Doctors are permitted to do things that others are not, provided that what they do is regarded as ‘proper medical treatment’. The legal justification for bodily invasions in the medical context has developed according to the ‘medical exception’ to the criminal law discussed by the House of Lords in the cases of R v Brown [1993] and Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1994], and by the Law Commission in 1994. As those involved in sado-masochistic activities discovered in Brown, consent, in the absence of medical (or legitimate sporting) justification, is not enough to make harming others lawful. And in Bland, while it was legitimate for the doctors to withdraw life-sustaining treatment, if a concerned relative did the same it would become a criminal matter.

Continue reading

hand holding injection syringe

The welfare principle in action: Best interests and the MMR vaccination – F v F [2013] EWHC 2683 (Fam)

Dr Sara Fovargue

On 12 October 2013 the Family Division of the High Court published a judgment which had been handed down in private on 5 September 2013 concerning an application from a father for a specific issue order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 requiring that his 15 year old (L) and 11 year old (M) daughters received the MMR vaccination.  Dr Sara Fovargue considers the case and its implications.

Case transcript: F v F [2013] EWHC 2683 (Fam)

Continue reading