Browsing Derby Law School by Subjects
Now showing items 1-2 of 2
Children and the doctrine of substituted judgement.The common law in the United Kingdom dictates that children facing medical treatment should be treated in accordance with their best interests. The Children Act 1989 also demands that the welfare of the child is paramount. However, in light of the creation of saviour siblings after the case of Quintavalle, it is disputed that the donor child is treated in accordance with his/her best interests when undergoing a non-therapeutic procedure for the benefit of another. The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) can, for example, validate a bone marrow harvest on a child created specifically for harvest without the consent of the High Court. The doctrine of substituted judgement was developed in the United States to substitute a previously competent adult decision, but it is proposed that parents of saviour siblings are reviving it in a modified form to install a speculative psychological benefit into the saviour child to satisfy the criteria for a harvest in common law. As a result, there is a glaring discrepancy between the objective jurisdiction of the courts and the validation of non-therapeutic harvesting procedures upon children by the HTA, opening the door to potential legal action.
Quintavalle: The quandry in bioethicsThe case of R. (Quintavalle) v. Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority (and Secretary of State for Health) presents a handful of legal problems. The biggest legal query to arise from the case is the inevitable harvest of babies, toddlers and very young children for their bone marrow. This article unpacks the judicial story behind Quintavalle to reveal how the strict provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 - namely ‘suitable condition’ under schedule 2 paragraph 1(1)(a) and ‘treatment services’ and ‘assisting’ under section 2(1) - were widely misinterpreted to introduce the social selection of embryos into law. The legal loopholes created by the judgment (embryo wastage, welfare, eugenics and the legality of child harvest in particular) are also identified. It will be concluded that screening for a tissue match is social selection despite arguments to the contrary and that parents are not yet entitled in law to harvest a very young child for bone marrow, making the creation of a saviour sibling under the 1990 Act as a result of Quintavalle ultimately futile.