Abortion, Doctors and the Law: Some Aspects of the Legal by John Keown

By John Keown

Starting from the start of the 19th century to the Eighties, this e-book makes a speciality of the evolution of the legislations and scientific perform of abortion in England. Little educational cognizance has hitherto been given to the advance and scope of abortion legislations in England, the formative impression of the scientific career, and the impression of the legislation on scientific perform. accordingly, Dr Keown considers the functionality of abortion via medical professionals, and the effect the clinical career had at the restrict of the legislation within the 19th century and on its rest within the 20th. The booklet doesn't deal without delay with the felony prestige of the unborn baby, the rights and tasks of its mom and dad and of the medical professionals desirous about the availability of abortion or the query of the desirability of reform. really, adopting a socio-legal viewpoint, it considers what the scope of the prohibition of abortion has been and makes a speciality of elements impression at the evolution of that prohibition, and perform thereunder.

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Extra info for Abortion, Doctors and the Law: Some Aspects of the Legal Regulation of Abortion in England from 1803 to 1982

Sample text

86 Eleven years earlier Dr Samuel Farr had written: It is to be lamented . . that whilst this crime, which is practised generally by the most abandoned, escapes unpunished, a poor deluded creature, in the case of infant murder, whose shame highly extenuates her guilt, should suffer death. . 87 It is clear, therefore, that at least in certain quarters, abortion was regarded as of frequent occurrence and the common law as having failed to suppress it. Whether this perception was accurate is a difficult question requiring further research.

P. 45 If they were unaware of this significant amendment, the available case law on the interpretation of the resulting Act would 34 Anti-abortion Acts and doctors 1803-1861 have done little to clarify the ambiguity: decisions went both ways. Turning to the second significant aspect of this section, namely its express prohibition of attempts by a pregnant woman herself to procure her own miscarriage, there is also evidence to suggest that this innovation resulted from the work of the Commissioners.

62 He was echoed in 1821 by John Gordon Smith who wrote that in general abortion produced ill-health and suffering and that attempted abortion often succeeded only in killing the mother. 63 In 1825, Theodric Beck's text 64 provided a thorough treatment of both the methods of abortion and their dangers. 71 In 1844 A. S. 73 The consensus of medical and medico-legal opinion from the turn of the century to the enactment of ss. 58 and 59 was, therefore, that the induction of abortion, whether by drugs or instruments, was a hazardous procedure involving a high risk of mortality and morbidity and a low possibility of success.

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