Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law

9. Abortion

Co-authored by Angus Moon QC, Debra Powell QC and Elizabeth Fox.

Contents

  • A Statutory framework  9.1
  • Offences Against the Person Act 1861 9.2
  • Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 9.3
  • Abortion Act 1967  9.4
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990  9.5
  • B Particular issues of compliance with the Abortion Act 1967 conditions 9.6
  • Conscientious objection  9.6
  • Multiple foetuses  9.7
  • Does the procedure have to be successful to be lawful? 9.8
  • Does the procedure have to be performed by a medical practitioner?  9.9
  • Certification of medical opinion 9.10
  • The grounds 9.11
  • Risk of injury to the mother greater than if pregnancy terminated: s 1(1)(a) 9.11
  • Termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury: s 1(1)(b) 9.15
  • Risk to life of pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated: s 1(1)(c) 9.16
  • Substantial risk of the child being seriously handicapped from physical or mental abnormalities: s 1(1)(d) 9.17
  • The place of treatment 9.18
  • C The patient’s consent 9.19
  • Capacitous adults  9.20
  • Children  9.21
  • Incapacitous adults  9.22
  • Determining capacity: termination of pregnancy 9.23
  • Best interests: termination of pregnancy 9.24
  • Use of force: non-consensual incapacitous patients 9.28
  • Procedure and evidence 9.29
  • Making an application 9.29
  • Timing of the application 9.30
  • Important considerations for the court 9.31
  • D Conclusion 9.34
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