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Harm and Culpability$
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A. P. Simester and A. T. H. Smith

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198260578

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260578.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 July 2021

Criminal Liability in a Medical Context: the Treatment of Good Intentions

Criminal Liability in a Medical Context: the Treatment of Good Intentions

(p.173) 8 Criminal Liability in a Medical Context: the Treatment of Good Intentions
Harm and Culpability

Andrew Ashworth

Oxford University Press

When the criminal courts have to decide issues involving the conduct of medical practitioners, the general doctrines of the criminal law are sometimes subjected to considerable strain. The standard formulation of intention in criminal law texts consists of either acting in order to bring about the prohibited result or, if the actor's purpose is otherwise, acting with awareness that the result is virtually certain to follow. This chapter examines how English courts have dealt with claims that certain conduct is justified on medical grounds and how the criminal law should deal with such claims. It discusses the concepts of recklessness, intention, exculpation, criminal liability, defence, the role of patient consent, reasonableness, proof of purpose, and the interface between criminal law and medical law.

Keywords:   criminal law, medical law, intention, recklessness, exculpation, criminal liability, defence, consent, reasonableness, proof of purpose

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