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Should parents have the final say on their child's medical treatment?

Friday 8 March: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Faculty of Law, Sidgwick Site, 10 West Road, CB3 9DZ

The Baron de Lancey Lecture

If doctors believe that they might be able to save a dying child, should the parents have the freedom to pursue this treatment? If a court decides that the treatment is not in the child's best interests, should it have unlimited authority to intervene? When deciding what care a child receives, should the wishes of the parents be given any weight? These questions raise complex issues about the boundaries of court power, and how far the state can intervene in what might be considered private, family decisions. They demand we consider the extent to which we give parents the freedom to decide about their children and when this might yield to consideration about the child's welfare. Who knows best? The court? The doctors? The parents? In this talk, Dr Imogen Goold, University of Oxford, Faculty of Law explores these and related questions about the scope of parental and judicial power."

Imogen Goold is Associate Professor in Law at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of St Anne's College. She studied Law and Modern History at the University of Tasmania, Australia, receiving her PhD in 2005. Her doctoral research explored the use of property law to regulate human body parts. She also received a Masters degree in Bioethics from the University of Monash in 2005. From 1999, she was a research member of the Centre for Law and Genetics, where she published on surrogacy laws, legal constraints on access to infertility treatments and proprietary rights in human tissue. In 2002, she took up as position as a Legal Officer at the Australian Law Reform Commission, working on the inquiries into Genetic Information Privacy and Gene Patenting. After leaving the ALRC in 2004, she worked briefly at the World Health Organisation, researching the provision of genetic medical services in developing countries. Her research interests include the regulation of IVF, the ownership of human body parts and the impact of artificial intelligence on the law of tort.

The Baron de Lancey Lecture is an annual lecture series kindly sponsored by the Ver Heyden de Lancey Foundation. The lecture provides an opportunity for eminent lawyers to present original and provocative perspectives on current legal problems in medical or life sciences law, to be debated with a Cambridge audience.

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Age: Adults, Talk, Arrive on time, Free