• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Jurisprudence - Conjoined Twins - Evaluate the contention that the Court of Appeals determination in Re A (Children) (Conjoined twins: surgical separation) [2000] 4 All ER 961 was primarily influenced by moral considerations

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Jurisprudence Law 328 Evaluate the contention that the Court of Appeal?s determination in Re A (Children) (Conjoined twins: surgical separation) [2000] 4 All ER 961 was primarily influenced by moral considerations. Word Count 2704 ?This Court is a court of law, not of morals, and our task has been to find, and our duty is then to apply the relevant principles of law to the situation before us- a situation which is quite unique?.[1] Lord Justice Ward delivered the leading judgement in Re A clearly stating this early in his decision in an attempt to highlight the positivist approach with which the Court of Appeal should decide the case. However, does the statement accurately encompass the reasoning by which the decisions were reached by Ward and his counterparts? To fully understand; one must first attempt to understand the somewhat turbulent relationship between law and morality, analyse the case itself and evaluate each of the respective judgements in an attempt to understand each of the Lord Justice?s rationale. One will then conclude by way of overview. The concept of law and morality being intertwined has intrigued scholars since the time of Plato and Aristotle. Natural law provides a description of the point the two come together. It is a widely misunderstood moral concept, not legal concept, its principal aim, is that, what naturally is, ought to be.[2] Plato?s ideals came from his views of human ...read more.

Middle

Ward L.J. was faced with a difficult dilemma, one which did not fully manifest itself until he had been presented with an image of the twins. He remarked how the medical documentation had not prepared him for the desperate sadness and shock that had greeted him. Ward echoed Lord Goff in Airedale NHS Trust v Bland[22], the apparent precedent for his decision. ?The question is always whether the treatment would be worthwhile, not whether the patients life would be worthwhile?.[23] Ward judged the situation as a choice between two evils. The decision was therefore to find the least detrimental choice. One can not help to see a parallel between this viewpoint and the utilitarian argument involving the hypothetical trolley case.[24] Ward argued the operation was in Josie?s interests, while stating Mary did have a right to life, but little right to be alive.[25] It was expressed that in any event Mary was killing Josie, draining her life- blood. This idea that Mary was living on ?borrowed time? makes Mary seem culpable in terms of conventional legal morality.[26] One is struck with the image of Dracula, feeding on a victim, monstrous as well as evil.[27] The point made here is this emotive language seems to be detrimental to the image of Mary, making it seem there is only one child to consider. ...read more.

Conclusion

inclined to agree that the decisions appear to look for the morally ?soft option?, giving the answer the public at large would want.[47] It is still a murder and all the judgement seemed to do was make it morally permissible to do so. The lack of precedent available meant there was no settled principle in law the Court of Appeal could act on.[48] This bending of the law to achieve a utilitarian goal where two lives were at stake has ultimately opened the door to other potential lawful acquittal cases where euthanasia is the reason for killing.[49] It seems reasonably clear, that regardless of the decision of the Court of Appeal it would have split opinion, and this was accepted at the outset by Lord Justice Ward. It can be said that there was a positivist approach taken in attempting to decide this case, but the unique issue that was involved, with no legal precedent, could ultimately not be fitted into the current law at the time, allowing for morality to creep in. Throughout the case the parents of the twins were given the upmost respect for their decision, but were always in the minority with regards to their viewpoint, despite supporting views from the Archbishop of Westminster and Pro-life by their side. One would agree with Barbara Heuson that the Judges were able to disagree with the parents and substitute their own moral views. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Jurisprudence section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Jurisprudence essays

  1. The Central Tension In `Volpone' Involves A Conflict Between Moral And Immoral Behaviour (Peck ...

    In order to answer the question "does the play Volpone have a moral purpose" ; we need to consider the conclusion. All punishment is distributed at the very end of the play. Mosca is deemed to be `the chiefest minister, if not plotter, / In all these lewd impostures; and

  2. Overriding interests - LRA 2002.

    new buyer if they are discovered during a reasonable inspection or if the buyer is already aware of an interest of the person in question. The final exception is regarding leases that a tenant takes possession after a period of three months of the lease being granted, (this is deliberated in more detail below).

  1. Did Jim Crow significantly change the lives of African-Americans?

    talent to criticise 'Jim Crow' laws and demand that blacks have their voting rights restored."17 Lynching became a fairly big problem after the inaction of the Jim Crow laws, and racial hatred was heightened after the much-publicised Plessy case. Ida B Wells launched a lifelong campaign against lynching after three

  2. Outline and Evaluate what you consider the most powerful objection to Utilitarianism as a ...

    In this way, utilitarianism seems irrational and this argument is very powerful as the world is becoming more diverse, and retaining a sense of individuality for many people is very important. Justice and other civil and human rights are fundamental to a society, yet by following utilitarianism, we may find

  1. Life span psychology - six stages of moral reasoning grouped into three major levels

    Principles are universal. Principle of justice: the equality of human rights and respect for the dignity of human beings as individuals. The reason for doing right is that as a rational person, one has seen the validity of principles and has become committed to them.

  2. Universal conceptions of human rights should supersede culturally relative conceptions. Discuss. Assess the effectiveness ...

    unwilling, international efforts should take precedence and intervene to protect nationals from the abuse of their governments. On the other hand, female genital mutilation is usually upheld and practiced by women and the belief of societies that engage in this practice claim that it is a form of cultural retention.

  1. Libertarian Welfare Rights. An Inquiry into the Coherence of Some Common Libertarian Commitments

    many stripes should be actual consent theorists.xlv So, there is no immediate reason to reject this paper's argumentative strategy.xlvi III. The Second Premise: Why Actual Consent Requires Some Basic Reasoning and Planning Capacities Assuming, then, that libertarians should accept actual consent theory, this section will defend the second premise of

  2. Is Dworkin a natural lawyer? Before examining the Dworkinian perspective, it is important to ...

    directly or indirectly for the purpose of determining which behaviour will be punished or coerced by public power'7. Secondly these special rules are exhaustively extensive and consequently all eventualities should be covered, however if this is not accurate then it cannot be decided by the law, and consequently the judiciary

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work