Friday, 13 March 2015

The value of self-determination

European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
It begs a lot of questions. As Scotland moves away from a model of medical paternalism (doctors know best) it is foisting the named person on all parents. (i.e named persons know best)

"In 1999, Mrs Montgomery gave birth to a baby boy. Unfortunately, he was starved of oxygen during the delivery and sustained severe brain damage." The principal claim was against the obstetrician for failing to give the mother proper warning of the risk of a natural birth. Had she been warned Mrs Montgomery says she would have opted for a caesarian section.

"As the main judgment puts it at [75]"
….patients are now widely regarded as persons holding rights, rather than as the passive recipients of the care of the medical profession...

The idea that patients were medically uninformed and incapable of understanding medical matters was always a questionable generalisation….. To make it the default assumption on which the law is to be based is now manifestly untenable...

80. Under the stimulus of the Human Rights Act 1998, the courts have become increasingly conscious of the extent to which the common law reflects fundamental values. As Lord Scarman pointed out in Sidaway’s case, these include the value of self-determination….. As well as underlying aspects of the common law, that value also underlies the right to respect for private life protected by article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

See EU conference: Will the state take over the role of parents ?

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