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Toolkits and Protocols


Nuffield Council on Bioethics


Department of Health and Community Services (NT) v JWB (Marion’s Case) (1992) 175 CLR 218 Cth
Case of a 14 year old girl with a severe intellectual disability. Her parents wished her to be sterilised. The court held that this was not a procedure that parents could consent to. Reaffirms the principle of autonomy, personal inviolability and the right to bodily integrity.

Rogers v Whitaker (1992) 175 CLR 479 Cth
Affirms that in cases of trespass and consent in medical treatment the paramount consideration is the autonomy of the individual, the right to make decisions about his or her own life.

Schloendorff v Society of New York Hospital 105 NE 92 at 93
(1914) (NY Ct of Apps)
Case contains the much quoted statement of autonomy and the need for consent by Cardozo J: “Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages.”

Papers, Reports and Books

Patients’ autonomy and medical benefit: ethical reasoning among GPs
Family Practice Vol. 17, No. 2
Oxford University Press 2000

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