CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to Law and Ethics


1.1 What is Law?

1.2 How the Law is Made – the Sources of Law

1.3 Divisions within the Law

1.4 What is Ethics?

1.5 Ethical Toolkit

1.6 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 2 Childhood, Children’s Rights and Welfare


2.1 Legal Definitions of the Child and Childhood

2.2 The Relationship between Law and Childhood

2.3 The Nature of Childhood

2.4 Rights

2.5 Children’s Rights

2.6 Classification of Children’s Rights

2.7 Common Themes

2.8 Children and International Law

2.9 The Welfare Principle


CHAPTER 3 Responsibility, Accountability and Negligence


3.1 Beneficence: ‘Doing Good’

3.2 Non-Maleficence: Avoiding Harm and Risk

3.3 Moral Responsibility and Accountability

3.4 Blame

3.5 Ethical Objectives of the Law of Negligence

3.6 Legal Responsibility and Accountability

3.7 The Law of Negligence

3.8 Duty of Care

3.9 Breach of Duty

3.10 Causation

3.11 Reform

3.12 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 4 Autonomy and Consent


4.1 Autonomy

4.2 Respecting and Enhancing Children’s Autonomy

4.3 Challenging the Pre-Eminence of Autonomy

4.4 Paternalism

4.5 The Law of Consent

4.6 Essential Requirements for Consent to be Legally Valid

4.7 Disagreements – the Court’s Role

4.8 Emergencies

4.9 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 5 Confidentiality, Medical Records and Data Protection


5.1 Explaining Confidentiality

5.2 Children and Confidentiality

5.3 Ethical Justifications for the Duty of Confidentiality

5.4 The Moral Case for Breaching Confidentiality

5.5 The Law of Confidentiality

5.6 Children’s Legal Right to Confidentiality

5.7 Legal Exceptions to the Duty of Confidentiality

5.8 Access to Records

5.9 Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 6 Justice and Access to Health Care


6.1 Children’s Health Care Services

6.2 Defining Terms

6.3 Rationing Health Care Resources

6.4 Forms of Rationing – How is Health Care Rationed?

6.5 Distributing Scarce Resources – How to Make ‘Moral’ Decisions

6.6 Rationing and the Law

6.7 Using the Law to Gain Access to Treatment

6.8 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTR 7 Young People and Sexuality


7.1 Abortion: Fetal Rights

7.2 Abortion: Maternal Rights

7.3 A Compromise Position

7.4 The Law of Abortion

7.5 When is an Abortion Legal?

7.6 Adolescents and the Abortion Act

7.7 Other People’s Legal Rights

7.8 Sterilisation

7.9 Family Planning and the Law

7.10 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 8 Birth and its Regulation


8.1 Assisted Reproduction

8.2 Legal Regulation of Assisted Reproduction

8.3 Parentage

8.4 Children’s Right to Know their Genetic Parentage

8.5 Surrogacy

8.6 The Legal Regulation of Surrogacy

8.7 Pregnancy and Childbirth

8.8 Legal Aspects of Pregnancy

8.9 Prenatal Injuries

8.10 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 9 Research, Organ Donation and Tissue Transplantation


9.1 Research

9.2 Ethical Considerations and Principles

3 Regulation of Research

9.4 Legal Regulation of Research

9.5 Donation, Storage and Use of Organs and Tissue

9.6 Human Tissue Act 2004

9.7 Organ Transplants from the Dead

9.8 The Relationship between Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 10 Mental Health


10.1 Defining ‘Mental Disorder’

10.2 Incidence of Mental Disorders in Young People

10.3 Guidance Governing Children’s Mental Health

10.4 The Impact of a Diagnosis of Mental Disorder

10.5 Mental Health Act 1983

10.6 Informal Admission and Treatment

10.7 Compulsory Admission – Detaining Young People against their Will

10.8 Treatments Regulated by Part 4 of the MHA 1983

10.9 Ethical Issues

10.10 Relationship between the Law and Ethics


CHAPTER 11 Child Protection


11.1 Development of Children’s Welfare Policies

11.2 Models of State Intervention

11.3 Welfare Services – Family Support and Prevention

11.4 Investigation of Child Abuse and Neglect

11.5 Protection of Children in Emergencies

11.6 Long-Term Orders – Care and Supervision


CHAPTER 12 Death, Dying and the Incurably Ill Child


12.1 Definitions

12.2 Is there an Ethical Obligation to Prolong Life?

12.3 Is there a Moral Distinction between Killing and Letting Die?

12.4 Is there a Moral Distinction between Intending and Foreseeing a Consequence?

12.5 What Legal Duties are Owed at the End of Life?

12.6 Is there a Legal Obligation to Prolong Life?

12.7 Is it Lawful to Withhold and Withdraw Life-Saving Treatment from Children?

12.8 Can a Child be Deliberately Killed?

12.9 What Rights do Parents have to Determine Treatment?

12.10 The Court’s Role

12.11 The Relationship between Law and Ethics




For Josie, Eve, Martin and Dan, with love (and the NHS which promised and has delivered so much).