|dc.contributor.author||Hilder, Carolyn Hayley Jane||
|dc.description.abstract||This doctoral thesis considers the family’s role in the process of making medical
treatment decisions for one of its members.
Chapter 1 explores the meaning of family in the context of illness and disability.
It is suggested that membership is not defined by biological or marital status but
by interdependence, which also provides the moral and logical claim for a role of
influence in treatment decisions.
Chapter 2 considers various ethical frameworks for development of an inclusive
decision-making framework, using fictional case studies.
Chapter 3 examines the historical development of the legal framework for the
resolution of treatment disputes revealing the ‘invention’ of a common law
jurisdiction in respect of adults lacking capacity in order to meet perceived social
Chapter 4 examines the unifying concept of the various jurisdictions in respect of
adults and children, namely the patient’s ‘best interests’. Decided cases are
categorised by their principal issue to demonstrate that the judicial concept of
best interests has been shaped by core values intrinsic to those issues, leaving
consideration of the interdependence inherent in the family context side-lined.
That such disregard is not a necessary corollary of the mechanisms adopted for
decision-making is shown by comparison with later cases of paternity testing
Chapter 5 traces the last throes of the inherent jurisdiction through political
engagement and the Bournewood litigation.
Finally chapter 6 assesses the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is
argued that, although the statutory test of ‘best interests’ is susceptible to familyfriendly
considerations, the general authority limits involvement of families to
|dc.title||The Role of the family in cases of disputed medical decision making||en_US
|dc.rights.holder||The copyright of this thesis rests with the author and no quotation from it or information derived from it may be published without the prior written consent of the author||