The Nature and Significance of the Right to Bodily Integrity

Herring, J., & Wall, J. (2017). The nature and significance of the right to bodily integrity. Cambridge Law Journal, 76(3), 566-588. doi: 10.1017/S0008197317000605.

Posted: 2 Apr 2019

See all articles by Jonathan Herring

Jonathan Herring

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Jesse Wall

University of Auckland

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This article seeks to explain and explore the concept of bodily integrity. The concept is often elided with autonomy in the case law and the academic literature. It argues that bodily integrity is non-reducible to the principle of autonomy. Bodily integrity relates to the integration of the self and the rest of the objective world. A breach of it, therefore, is significantly different to interference in decisions about your body. This explains why interference with bodily integrity requires justification beyond what will suffice for an interference with autonomy. It also explores how this understanding of bodily integrity assists in understanding disability, gender and separated bodily material.

Keywords: Bodily Integrity, Autonomy, Medical Law

JEL Classification: K00, K30

Suggested Citation

Herring, Jonathan J. W. and Wall, Jesse, The Nature and Significance of the Right to Bodily Integrity (2017). Herring, J., & Wall, J. (2017). The nature and significance of the right to bodily integrity. Cambridge Law Journal, 76(3), 566-588. doi: 10.1017/S0008197317000605., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3337346

Jonathan J. W. Herring

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

Jesse Wall (Contact Author)

University of Auckland ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

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