With the capacity of doctors to intervene in pregnancy increasing, the likelihood for conflicts between doctors and hospitals and pregnant women is also increasing. Yet our jurisprudence has failed to clarify the bounds of pregnant women’s autonomy. Indeed, this jurisprudence is marked by confusion, leaving courts in the dark as to how to resolve these conflicts.
Therefore, it is useful to carefully enunciate the rights and interests at issue in forced medical care of pregnant women. This includes 1) the distinction between the right to refuse medical care of oneself and the lack of a right to refuse consent to necessary medical care of others, 2) the right not to be forced to rescue others, and 3) the nature of the exceptions to these rights. Careful delineation of these concepts reveals that forced medical care of pregnant women lacks justification when these principles are consistently applied.
- medical care,
- Roe v. Wade
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carolyn_mcconnell/1/