Chapter

A Question of Autonomy?

John Seymour

in Childbirth and the Law

Published in print July 2000 | ISBN: 9780198264682
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682759 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264682.003.0009
A Question of Autonomy?

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This chapter aims to explore the significance of context, particularly that created by the relationship between a pregnant woman and her fetus. The aim is to determine whether a pregnant woman should be immune from legal intervention when her conduct threatens or has harmed her fetus. Thus, the chapter complements Chapter 8, which argued that it is unsatisfactory to answer all questions relating to the appropriateness of legal intervention to protect a fetus by denying that it exists and has intrinsic value. This conclusion was the first step in the analysis. This chapter — adopting the relational perspective — seeks to complete the picture by addressing the legal implications of the special bond between a pregnant woman and her fetus.

Keywords: pregnant woman; fetus; legal intervention; child protection

Chapter.  25878 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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