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Durham e-Theses
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‘Informed consent to abortion: reframing the first medical encounter with a registered-medical-practitioner’

MILO, CATERINA (2021) ‘Informed consent to abortion: reframing the first medical encounter with a registered-medical-practitioner’. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Phd Thesis) - Accepted Version


Though the Abortion Act 1967 was passed over 50 years ago, the ethical and political questions that spur from abortion are far from settled. This project focuses on the neglected issue of the first medical encounter between registered-medical practitioners (RMPs) and women considering abortion and analyses the RMPs’ informative role. It is contended that the focus on how the decision-making process unfolds during the first medical encounter has been undermined and deserves more attention. The thesis supplies a novel interpretation of the informed consent framework based on the 2015 landmark decision of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board which set out two key principles to govern informed consent in mainstream medicine: partnership and autonomy. This thesis explores how adherence to these principles can be achieved in the context of the first medical encounter with a RMP and abortion. It argues for a novel and additional focus on the valuable contribution that RMPs can bring to informed decision-making that safeguards women’s authentic autonomy. The project proposes a
shift in the abortion debate in England and Wales, recommending changes that will
enhance the emphasis on partnership and authentic autonomy in the first medical
encounter with an RMP.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:informed consent, abortion
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Jan 2021 13:59

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