The Canadian Charter as a Barrier to Unwanted Medical Treatment of Pregnant Women in the Interests of the Foetus

14:2 Health Law in Canada 49-58, 1993

10 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2013

See all articles by Martha Jackman

Martha Jackman

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: 1993

Abstract

The author describes Canadian lower and appellate court decisions involving unwanted medical control or treatment of pregnant women in situations where their foetuses are deemed to be at risk, and compares Canadian decisions to American and British appellate court rulings in similar cases. The article also reviews the rights of non-pregnant persons to refuse medical treatment. The article concludes that ordering unwanted medical treatment of pregnant women to protect the interests of the foetus would likely be deemed in violation of sections 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that such orders would be difficult to defend under section 1 of the Charter as a minimal impairment pregnant woman's rights.

Keywords: Canadian, Canada, law, legal, medical, unwanted medical, treatment, pregnant women, foetus, fetus, risk, comparative, rights, Charter of Rights, constitution, section 7, section 15, section 1, minimal impairment, Charter

Suggested Citation

Jackman, Martha, The Canadian Charter as a Barrier to Unwanted Medical Treatment of Pregnant Women in the Interests of the Foetus (1993). 14:2 Health Law in Canada 49-58, 1993. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2327628

Martha Jackman (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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