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Beyond Stork Delivery: From Injury to Autonomy in Reconceptualising ‘Harm’ in Wrongful Pregnancy

Studies in Law, Politics and Society

ISBN: 978-0-76231-272-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-387-7

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 27 March 2006

Abstract

Can one describe the ‘natural’ process of pregnancy as ‘harm’, even when negligently brought about? What does that harm consist of? Offering a contextual analysis of the English judiciary's characterisation of wrongful pregnancy, this paper demonstrates from a feminist perspective that the current construction of pregnancy as a ‘personal injury’ is deeply problematic. Forwarding an alternative account, this paper argues for law to embrace a richer notion of autonomy that will better resonate with women's diverse experiences of reproduction, and articulate the importance of autonomy in the reproductive domain: notably, women gaining control over their moral, relational and social lives.

Citation

Priaulx, N.M. (2006), "Beyond Stork Delivery: From Injury to Autonomy in Reconceptualising ‘Harm’ in Wrongful Pregnancy", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Studies in Law, Politics and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 38), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 105-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(05)38004-5

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited