Abortion, Doctors and the Law: Some Aspects of the Legal Regulation of Abortion in England from 1803 to 1982

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Overview

Ranging from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the 1980s, this book focuses on the evolution of the law and medical practice of abortion in England. Little academic attention has hitherto been given to the development and scope of abortion law in England, the formative influence of the medical profession, and the impact of the law on medical practice. Consequently, Dr Keown considers the performance of abortion by doctors, and the influence the medical profession had on the restriction of the law in the nineteenth century and on its relaxation in the twentieth. The book does not deal directly with the legal status of the unborn child, the rights and duties of its parents and of the doctors involved in the provision of abortion or the question of the desirability of reform. Rather, adopting a socio-legal perspective, it considers what the scope of the prohibition of abortion has been and focuses on aspects of professional influence on the evolution of that prohibition, and of professional practice thereunder.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... excellent and timely ... thorough and dispassionate.' Legal Studies

'... a clear and illuminating work of scholarship and distinction.' Annals of Science

'... a much needed authoritative guide to the history of the law on abortion and an excellent case study in the social history of medicine.' Bulletin of the History of Medicine

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Table of cases; Table of statutes; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The first statutory prohibition of abortion: Lord Ellenborough's Act 1803; 2. Anti-abortion legislation 1803-1861 and medical influence thereon; 3. Abortion in legal theory and medical practice before 1938; 4. The medical profession and the enactment of the Abortion Act 1967; 5. The Abortion Act 1967 and the performance of abortion by the medical profession 1968-1982; 6. The reaction of the medical profession to proposed restriction of the law 1969-1979; 7. A theoretical overview; Appendices; Notes; Subject index; Name index.

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