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Flashcards in Ethics and Law Deck (21):

Triangle of abuse

Victim of abuse, bystander and perpetrator
Can have pyramid with active witness, in medicine this is someones who documents and reports abuse


Institutional medical abuse takes the form of

Punitive misdiagnosis e.g. sectioning a politician in the opposite party
Unethical/refusal of treatment e.g. not treating prisoners
Denial/falsification of evidence e.g. pharma problems
Disentitlement e.g. preventing disabled from working


Assisted dying is... , and legality

Euthanasia and assisted suicide
Intention to hasten death
All forms are illegal in UK


Kay Gildergale 2010

Mother gave daughter morphine OD with daughter's consent, she was not prosecuted of attempted murder but maybe should have been charged with assisted suicide


Frances Inglis 2010

Jailed for 9 years for euthanasia to son after he suffered severe brain damage in an RTA, so couldn't consent


Euthanasia definition

Hastening someone's death for their own benefit without their assistance


Types of euthanasia

Active - killing them
Passive - letting them die e.g. not giving treatment
Voluntary - recipient wants to die
Non-voluntary - recipient lacks capacity to consent
Involuntary - recipient doesn't want to die


R vs Cox 1992

Dr Cox euthanised patient after her asking him to, he was given a year in jail as they couldn't prove his actions caused her death but confirmed that euthanasia is legally equivalent to murder


R vs Adams 1957

Dr Adams gave morphine to ease pain knowing that it could kill patient but acquitted as intention was to treat despite foreseeing death, doctrine of double effect


Doctrine of double effect

Action with good and bad outcomes may be acceptable if intention is to achieve good and is possible independent of bad


Suicide Act 1961 (and 2009 amendment)

Person aiding suicide of another can be jailed for up to 14 years, encouraging is also included


Prosecution for assisted suicide unlikely if

Victim has clear intention to commit (self-suicide is not illegal)
Vic has terminal illness/severe incurable condition
Suspect was close to vic and wholly motivated by compassion
Suspected reported suicide to police and cooperated
Suspect's actions only minor assistance


Prosecution for assisted suicide likely if

Vic was under 18
Suspect a healthcare professional with vic in their care


Tony Nicklinson 2012

Locked-in syndrome, sought declaration that it's not unlawful for doc to end his life, rejected as euthanasia


AM (martin) in assisted suicide

Man suffered stroke and wanted doctors help to die, rejected as assisted suicide is illegal


Abortion law in UK

No legal right to abortion in England/Wales, must be evidence that pregnancy would threaten patient's/child's health


Abortion act 1967

No legal right to abortion but legal defence for medics when it's
performed in NHS hospital/approved clinic
2 medics have to certify
28 week limit (amended to 24 with human fertilisation + embryology act 1990) unless severe risk to mother/serious foetal abnormality then no limit


Criteria for conditions of Abortion act (1967) and human fertilisation and embryology act (1990)

Doctor has to decide and justify, no specific criteria
Pregnant woman's partner has no rights


Legal status of foetus vs moral

Has no legal right to life so mother could refuse treatment needed to save baby
Moral debate whether it has moral right to life


Conscience and abortion for doctors

Doctors can opt out of abortion care unless woman at risk of serious harm/death, but don't lose duty of care so patient must have enough info to see another doctor


Abortion in NI and scotland

Devolved to scottish law in scotland
Technically legal in NI but 1967 abortion act doesn't cover NI so gynaecologists reluctant to perform treatment due to lack of clarity in law