kazzasingh's version from 2018-05-09 18:49

The right not to reproduce

Question Answer
HFEA ex p BloodA wife, when her husband was in coma, managed to get doctors to extract sperm from him whilst he was in a coma. She wanted to use that sperm to conceive artificially.
Evans v UK (2006)A fertilised embryo was kept but the partner (whose sperm had been used to fertilise that egg) refused to consent to its implantation in Evans. The law is careful to protect a person's right not to have a family.


Question Answer
R v Smith (John) [1973]Provided a doctor acts in good faith, their decision to permit an abortion is unchallengeable
R v Whitchurch (1890)C was found guilty of conspiracy to commit abortion and acting to procure a miscarriage (even though C only mistakenly believed she was pregnant).
R v Sarah Louise Catt [2013]C was found guilty of administering poison with intent to procure a miscarriage contrary to section 58 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
R v Bourne [1938]C performed an abortion on a 14 year old girl who became pregnant after a violent rape. He had the consent of her parents. A criminal prosecution was brought against him for procuring a miscarriage contrary to s58 OAPA 1861. HELD the requirement in s58 that a person must act ‘unlawfully’ meant that a person could procure a miscarriage lawfully by acting in good faith for the purpose only of preserving the life of the pregnant woman. NOTE the expansive interpretation of ‘life’. It was held lawful to carry out an abortion not only when the woman faced imminent death but also when the pregnancy was likely to make her ‘a physical and mental wreck’ Macnaughten J. It was also held that a medical practitioner can use their experience to predict that life will be in danger from the pregnancy and act to prevent this without waiting for life to be in immediate danger.
R v Smith [1974]Dr Smith had failed to carry out a thorough physical examination of the pregnant woman, had not looked into her personal situation nor sought a second medical opinion before agreeing to perform an abortion. HELD: convicted of procuring an abortion contrary to s58 OAPA 1861 as he had not, in good faith, attempted to balance the risks of pregnancy and termination.
Paton v British Pregnancy Advisory Service Trustees [1979] & C v S (Foetus: Unmarried father) [1988] It was held that no third party could intervene in abortion decision.
Jepson v The Chief Constable of West Mercia Police Constabulary [2003] Reverend Joanna Jepson asked for a judicial review of the decision not to prosecute a doctor who performed a late abortion (after 24 weeks) on a foetus on grounds that it suffered from a cleft palate, a fairly minor abnormality that can be easily repaired surgically. The reverend herself had a cleft palate. HELD: Jackson J granted leave to apply for judicial review. A further police investigation was carried out but the CPS declined to prosecute on grounds that the doctor had acted in good faith.


Question Answer
Janaway v Salford HA [1988] Only staff directly involved in the procedure can conscientiously object (s 4(1) does not apply to administrative staff
MacKay v Essex AHA [1982]Medical profession under a duty to advise a pregnant woman of ‘her right to have an abortion and the pros and cons of doing so’
Re F (in utero) [1988]Mother with mental problems; absconded from residential care; threat to her foetus: foetus cannot be made ward of court until birth.
Vo v France [2004] Foetus has no right to life under article 2 ECHR.
Re B (A Minor) (Wardship: Medical Treatment) [1981]Court of Appeal ordered treatment despite refusal of parents (Down’s syndrome baby; life-saving operation).
Evans v Amicus Healthcare Ltd [2004]Involved an embryo which was outside the body of the woman and therefore the parents were (rightly?) given equal say in its future life.
R (on the application of Smeaton) v Secretary of State for Health [2002]Contraception that prevented implantation (such as the ‘morning after pill’) did not ‘procure a miscarriage’ within the meaning of the OAPA 1861.
Re SS (An Adult: Medical Treatment) [2002]Abortions can be performed on adult patients who lack capacity provided it is in their best interests
(Re B (wardship; abortion) [1991]An abortion can be carried out on a younger child with the consent of a parent or court