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The Law and Ethics of Medicine – Essays on the Inviolability of Human Life - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Law and Ethics of Medicine: Essays on the Inviolability of Human Life

John Keown


The book explains the principle of the sanctity or inviolability of human life and its continuing relevance to English law governing aspects of medical practice at the beginning and end of life. It shows that the principle, though widely recognized as an historic and foundational principle of the common law, has been widely misunderstood, not least in the legal academy, at the Bar and on the Bench. Part I of the book identifies the confusion and clarifies the principle, distinguishing it from “vitalism” on the one hand and a “qualitative” evaluation of human life on the other. Part II addresse ... More

Keywords: medical law, health law, sanctity of life, inviolability of life, abortion, euthanasia, palliative care

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199589555
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589555.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Keown, author
Rose Kennedy Professor, Kennedy Institute Of Ethics, Georgetown University

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