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Durham e-Theses
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Is there appropriate weight given to the Abrahamic religious beliefs of patients and healthcare professionals in English Medical Law?

O-NEILL, CLAYTON,BERNARD (2017) Is there appropriate weight given to the Abrahamic religious beliefs of patients and healthcare professionals in English Medical Law? Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 10 April 2020.

Abstract

Is the legal protection that is given to the expression of Abrahamic religious belief adequate or appropriate in the context of English medical law? This is the central question that is explored in the thesis. A framework to support judges in the resolution of contentious cases that involve dissension between religious belief and medical law is developed from Alan Gewirth’s Principle of Generic Consistency (PGC).
This framework is applied to a number of medical law cases studies: the principle of double effect, ritual male circumcision, female genital mutilation, Jehovah’s Witnesses (adults and children) who refuse blood transfusions, and conscientious objection of healthcare professionals to abortion. The thesis also examines the legal and religious contexts in which these contentious cases are arbitrated. It demonstrates how human rights law and the proposed framework can provide a gauge to measure competing rights and apply legitimate limits to the expression of religious belief, where appropriate. Thus, the original and significant contribution to knowledge is the development of an evaluative framework and its application to distinct case studies. This leads to the conclusion, based upon a stance of principled pragmatism, that some aspects of current legal protections in English medical law require amendment.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Apr 2017 11:39

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