Medicine and law (Med Law )

Publisher: World Association for Medical Law

Description

Medicine and Law is an international publication dealing with medico legal issues. Articles, court decisions, and legislation on: Medical Law, forensic medicine, sexology and law, psychiatry and law, psychology and law, dentistry and law, nursing law, pharmaceutical law, medical ethics, clinical criminology, drugs, alcohol, child abuse, medical experimentation, genetic engineering, organ transplantation, abortion, contraception, sterilization, euthanasia, religion, AIDS, etc.

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  • Website
    Medicine & Law website
  • Other titles
    Medicine and law
  • ISSN
    0723-1393
  • OCLC
    8755784
  • Material type
    Periodical
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Society is changing at an unprecedented rate. Several areas of knowledge are evolving on a daily basis, namely medicine and connected sciences. Hence it is needed that the legislator walks at least right behind this evolution, in order not to be considered retrograde. One of the areas that need the constant attention of the legislator is medicine, as far as prolonging life is considered. We have witnessed several cases along the decades of people who are not living a long and healthy life, but rather just a long life, with little quality in it. Therefore, it is also known that issues such as euthanasia have been discussed at several levels. Criminal law, in most countries, namely in Portugal, does not admit any type of euthanasia. We will briefly analyse the two Articles in the Portuguese Penal Code concerning this matter, in order to come to the conclusion of its pertinence and adequacy to today's society.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):525-39.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper aims to discuss the development of the notion that the patient has the right to refuse treatment, and how the Brazilian legal system is dealing with bioethical dilemmas, such as the possibility of exercising autonomy through advance directives. The paper discusses the lack of legislation to regulate important issues in the end of life healthcare, and what ethical guidelines exist, providing physicians with ethical and legal parameters to deal with the patient's will.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):459-80.
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    ABSTRACT: The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes as the first of its general principles the "Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choice, and independence of persons" (Art.3.a). With regard to health, States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without being discriminated on the basis of disability (Article 25), which includes requiring health professionals to provide care of the same quality to persons with disabilities as to others, including on the basis of free and informed consent (subsection d).These guidelines must enlighten the interpretation of the Spanish legal system as for the scope of autonomy of people with disabilities. Nevertheless, they still bear some handicaps in order to preserve their autonomy from third-party interferences.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):601-12.
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    ABSTRACT: There are currently high profile debates about legal and ethical aspects of end of life care and treatment in the U.K. and Brazil. Unlike some other jurisdictions, neither country has legalised assisted dying or euthanasia. We argue that it is timely to consider the issues from the perspectives of an evolving concept in bioethics, that of solidarity.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):481-96.
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    ABSTRACT: Physician's attitudes towards patients with incurable cancer or at the end-of-life process--treatment of patients, withholding ventilation support, physician-assisted suicide--have changed rapidly in recent years. In cases such as incurable cancer, illnesses in the terminal phase, some neurologic diseases and AIDS, physicians and other health care workers experience dilemmas, arguments and problems on the subjects of whether or not to tell the truth or how to do it, who should inform the patient or his/her guardian, and then, how to give treatment to patients with incurable cancer or withhold ventilation support. All of these issues are affected by the country's' sociocultural and economic structures, the physician's attitudes at the end of life,the medical practice and the form of health structures. In this study our objectives are to assess physicians' views in Turkey regarding the process of the end of life and decision-making, to compare them with views from the USA, Japan and Saudi Arabia and to cristalize a cross-cultural assessment. Our study contains three clinical situations covering the following areas: (1) a patient's right to be informed of incurable cancer, (2) doctor-assisted suicide (3) the conflicting rights of patients, doctors and the family in issues such as refusing ventilatory support or witholding treatment. The four-point Likert Scale was used to mark the responses to the statements. The significant cultural, social and economic differences that exist in health care services between regions in our country affect physician-patient communication and end of life decision-making, as reflected in the process of obtaining informed consent.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):549-65.
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    ABSTRACT: This article discusses who can write a valid advanced directive by analyzing the classical theory of disabilities and the introduction of the criterion of judgment in civil law. In the search for the answer of the proposed problem, this article examines how countries that have legislated on the AD deals with it and, such as Brazil, which still has no legislation on policies can advance the issue, equalizing the age criterion with the personality rights of considered incapable.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):541-8.
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    ABSTRACT: I will problematize medical performances at the end of life, confronting them with the responses of Portuguese Criminal Law. By starting from a review of literature, both in Portugal and abroad, I will cross the criminal doctrine with a broader, interdisciplinary approach, including the reconsideration of medicine ethical tradition (notably the Hippocratic Writings) and the present developments in neurosciences. The frame of homeostasis (neurobiology of emotions) by Damisio, with compassion in the top, helps to clarify to which extent medical act according to legesart is becomes the centre of the problem. Indeed, it is within the medical act, understood as the meeting of two autonomies--patient's and doctor's autonomies--that the compassion takes place as a result of the agreement/compromise between the patient's will of ceasing her/his life in a situation of unbearable suffering and the doctor's duty to relieve that suffering. Compassion arises here as a "homeostasis instrument", that is, an emotion which is important in the regulation of life, even when we are speaking about end(ing) of life. This new perspective allows us to guess a shift of paradigm on the ethical and social levels. On the other hand, in so far as we have passed from the compassionate response in medical setting to its discussion, successively, in medical ethics, in the courts, and as a normative instrument, I claim that we are before the "transition from an automatic homeostasis to a deliberate homeostasis" (Damisio). Therefore, 1 seek for a balance between the spontaneous and the planned, concerning the issue of praxis. Indeed, what increasingly happens in medical praxis should be brought together with theory, whereby medical law has a word to say.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):567-76.
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    ABSTRACT: The traditional approach towards end-of-life decision-making in Italy has changed. Whilst article 32 of the Italian Constitution recognizes the 'right to health' that grants patients to withhold or withdraw medical treatment, the Italian Medical Ethics Code neglects any kind of assistance during death or euthanasia. Although norms seem clear, ethicists and lawyers continue to discuss if withdrawing treatment from an incompetent patient should be classified as immoral and/or illegal. This is the result of acceptance of concepts such as patient's autonomy and the "right to die". On one hand, ethicist and lawyers, valuing the patient's autonomy, believe that letting die cannot be punished. On the other hand, however, some conservative ethicists and lawyers argue that the right to life is absolute and imperative and therefore a physician must do everything possible to protect one's life.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):577-85.
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    ABSTRACT: The article describes the recent Portuguese Act of 16 July 2012 on Living wills and Health care proxy, in a comparative perspective. After six years of parliamentary debate, the law was approved by unanimity and provides binding advance declaration of will, as long as it respects strict procedural control (Notary control, non-compulsory medical information and a (declarative) National Registry of Advance Declarations). The Author considers the Law a step forward in the right direction for the promotion of health care planning and ageing, especially for people suffering from dementia, and the autonomy of the patient in the end-of-life.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):497-502.
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    ABSTRACT: This article seeks to outline the law relating to euthanasia and assisted-suicide in New Zealand, and to critically examine whether there are any practical justifications for retaining the current prohibition. The paper initially discusses terminology, then what is and what is not permissible in New Zealand under the present legal regime. The paper then very briefly reviews the other jurisdictions which have euthanasia or assisted-suicide laws. Finally, the paper looks at the practical arguments for and against reform.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):503-13.
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    ABSTRACT: By ratification of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, previously expressed wishes as a completely new institute have been, via Article 9, implemented in the Czech legal system. With no history of practical experience with previously expressed wishes, and after more than 6 years of legislative work on the new Act on Healthcare Service, a unique provision was enacted which is actually not meant to serve as an instrument enabling withdrawal of the mechanical support of vital functions. In this paper, the great paradox of the Czech legal provision on previously expressed wishes is to be discussed and critically analyzed in order to explain the seriousness of the consequences of initial misunderstanding of the purposes and context of previously expressed wishes.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):429-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Advance directives emerge in the doctor-patient relationship as a way to ensure that the autonomy of the patient is observed, prior to a potential state of incapacity. Thus, autonomy can be exercised ensuring patient's dignity and self-determination. Advance directives yet have the power to drive the medical practitioner and his staff so that it is given the treatment and care previously chosen by the patient. The main purpose of this paper is to show the lack of legislation on the matter in Brazil versus the recognition of Advance Directives by the Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine. Can a mere resolution of the Council transform directives into enforceable wishes? This is an answer we intend to offer throughout the text.
    Medicine and law 12/2013; 32(4):515-23.
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    ABSTRACT: The Ethics Committee at the Patient's Bedside (ECatPB) was established at Beilinson Hospital and began its activity a few years ago. A retrospective viewpoint will enable us to reflect on moral dilemmas and ethical conflicts as sources of professionals' moral distress. The activities of the ECatPB will be reviewed through sample cases and in the light of the promotion of optimal treatment. Five dominant contributions of the ECatPB will be discussed: prevention of moral distress; positioning the committee as an integral and inseparable component of the medical institution's daily life; cultivating the advisory, rather than punitive, character of the committee; maintaining constant ethics dialogues with patients, caregivers and professionals; and communications with guardians in light of informed consent or informed refusal. The summary ofthis paper will include conclusions, recommendations and personal notes.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):277-85.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper suggests considering a few parameters when making policy decisions as to the proper "tool" to regulate professional behavior: law or professional ethics. This is done on the background of understanding the place of codes of professional ethics between "pure" ethics and law. Suggested criteria are then illustrated using a few examples. Further discourse may reveal additional factors to support a more rational process of decision-making in this field.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):235-50.
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    ABSTRACT: The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm attempts to improve the experiences of individuals with serious, irreversible illness, and their families. In some jurisdictions, the POLST is authorized in law. In other jurisdictions, efforts are underway or contemplated to encourage use of POLST for appropriate individuals, but the concept is not yet in law. An argument needs to be made to policymakers that POLST will have a therapeutic effect on patients and families. In making that argument, the analytical lens of therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) may be useful. This article proposes a POLST legal strategy using TJ. TJ may be used to evaluate data regarding psychological effects on patients and families who are experiencing medical care with or without POLST; the TJ analysis then should be considered by policymakers in enacting POLST laws to codify clinical consensus, and in turn the law so enacted would exert a positive impact on therapeutic benefit-producing behavior by health care providers.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):373-88.
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, I will examine some legal and ethical issues that arise in relation to neuroscience research involving older persons in Canada. Such research includes research relating to dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Dementias such as Alzheimer's are organic diseases affecting mainly older persons. They adversely affect mental acuity. There is still much that is unknown about such illnesses, making research on these diseases particularly necessary. In this paper, I will identify and focus on particular concerns with respect to the participation of older persons in research. These concerns are: Inclusion in and Access to Research; Informed Consent; Incidental Findings; and Advance Directives. I will discuss each of these concerns in the context of Canadian research ethics policy and law. The aim of this paper is not to provide an exhaustive discussion of these issues, each of which may rightfully demand a full paper. The aim of this paper is to identify and paint a canvass of these particularly relevant issues, discuss the policy and law on them, identify any existing gaps and propose some solutions to remedy these gaps and protect older persons who participate in research.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):389-422.
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    ABSTRACT: Real-life ethical issues that concern those engaged in medical practice existed and were discussed in earlier ages. It seems that many of the same dilemmas that we face today occupied our ancestors as well. An investigation of historical sources may be useful in showing earlier methods of coping with the dilemmas relating to health and illness. In this article we will present several such topics taken from the sources of Jewish society in pre-modern Europe. These sources served as the basis for a course given to medical students as part of the Medical Humanities track. The "raw materials" are historical, written Hebrew and Yiddish sources from Jewish society. Genres include Minute books, the huge corpus of Responsa, historical elegies written about epidemics, memoirs, and instruction books written by Jewish physicians. Profound bio-ethical issues can be found in historical sources. Main issues discussed are: physician's fees, obligations, and rights; personal characteristics expected of physicians; physician's obligations when his/her own life is endangered; medicalization of certain human conditions; and ideological questions regarding the relationship between traditional folk medicine and modern, academic medicine. The historical distance facilitates a freer discussion about distant people, while getting in touch with our own attitudes.
    Medicine and law 09/2013; 32(3):287-303.