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Law and MedicineCurrent Legal Issues Volume 3$
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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

Protecting the Unborn Child from its Drug or Alcohol Abusing Mother

Protecting the Unborn Child from its Drug or Alcohol Abusing Mother

(p.223) Protecting the Unborn Child from its Drug or Alcohol Abusing Mother
Law and Medicine

Kenneth McK. Norrie

Oxford University Press

Since the early 1990s, the starting point of any discussion of most aspects of child law has invariably been a reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. One of the few areas in which the Convention is not normally discussed is in relation to the child before birth, for it does not extend its substantive rights to the unborn child. Nevertheless the Convention does recognize, in its Preamble, that ‘the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth’. This chapter explores the special safeguards afforded the unborn child and attempts to identify which forms of legal protection ought appropriately to be extended to such a child within the context of legal systems which accept that, in some circumstances at least, the unborn child may lawfully be aborted. In exploring the protections potentially available to the unborn child, it focuses on only one fact scenario — that of the pregnant drug or alcohol abuser.

Keywords:   unborn child, abortion, child welfare, pregnant women, alcohol abuse, drug abuse

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