In the ‘conjoined twins’ case, Re A , the Court of Appeal had to issue a judgment under the sharp glare of the global media spotlight, on a question both divisive and morally significant: could English law sanction the separation of two legally distinct but physically united babies, knowing that one would be killed and one saved by the operation, and in the face of a refusal to consent by the parents but with medical opinion that favoured the surgery? In the much-cited dictum that heads this introduction, Ward LJ denies the relevance of the moral or ethical dimensions of the case as a component of his legal determination, 2 despite their obvious and urgent nature. 3 His judicial reasoning, he suggests, draws purely from law. In conceptual legal jargon, he commits to a formalist position: judges should not bring extra-legal considerations to their decision-making, and by implication, can find all of the necessary answers to the question within the law itself.
|Title of host publication||Ethical Judgments|
|Subtitle of host publication||Re-writing Medical Law|
|Editors||Stephen W. Smith, John Coggon, Clark Hobson , Richard Huxtable , Sheelagh McGuinness, José Miola, Mary Neal|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 12 Jan 2017|
- medical ethics
- medico-legal doctrine
Smith, S. W., Coggon, J., Hobson, C., Huxtable, R., McGuinness, S., Miola, J., & Neal, M. (2017). Introduction - medicine in the courtroom: judges, ethics and the law. In S. W. Smith, J. Coggon, C. H., R. H., S. McGuinness, J. Miola, & M. Neal (Eds.), Ethical Judgments: Re-writing Medical Law (pp. 1-10).