The Irish health system is confronted by a range of challenges, both emerging and recurring. In order to address these, it is essential that spaces are created for conversations around complex ethical and legal issues. This collection aims to provide a basis for ongoing engagement with selected issues in contemporary Irish health contexts. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners across a range of disciplines, most particularly, ethics, law and medicine. The focus of the collection is interdisciplinary and the essays are situated at the intersection between ethics, law and medicine. Important issues addressed include admission to care homes; assisted suicide; adolescent decision-making; allocation of finite resources; conscientious objection; data protection; decision-making at the end of life; mental health; the rights of older people; patient responsibilities; stem cell research; the role of carers; and reproductive rights. From these discussion, the collection draws out the following interlinking themes, addressing difference; context and care; oversight and decision-making; and, regulating research. The essays are theoretically informed and are grounded in the realities of the Irish health system, by drawing on contributors’ contextual knowledge. This book makes an informed and balanced contribution to academic and broader public discourse.
A feminist analysis of the Neary and Halappanavar cases
as elsewhere (Walker, 2009: 5)
Key to my analysis is a desire to understand the mechanisms by which the voices
and concerns of the women at the centre of these two cases were ignored, marginalised and trivialised. I address each case in turn, paying particular attention
to the way in which an excess of moral authority was vested in religious leaders,
religious doctrine and doctors and a correlated lack of authority was invested
in women patients and midwives.
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of care is borne by the caregiver alone or the charge fails to
receive adequate care– or both suffer’ (2001: 575). If we accept that we should
care about carers then it is very important that we think about how we conceptualise the caring relationship. This is because how we think about the caring
relationship will impact on what a reformed legal framework which recognises
carers looks like and how it operates. As Nedelsky notes, ‘a relational self
DONNELLY 9780719099465 PRINT.indd 41
requires relational conceptions of
which, or as a result of which, an unborn human life is ended’.
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Bearers of critical consciousness
The grounding of the right to CO in critical consciousness is an important factor
in understanding why CO usually ought not apply to corporate persons (Sepper,
2012; 2013; Corbin, 2014). Although institutions may indeed have an ethos
or a code of ethics, this is a matter of fact and results from a group’s adoption
of certain principles and values as that ethos. Ethos in this descriptive sense
practice backgrounds in
ethics, law and medicine. From these conversations, it became clear that the
Irish health system is confronted by a range of challenges, both emerging and
recurring, and that, because the system is fluid and dynamic, these cannot be
DONNELLY 9780719099465 PRINT.indd 2
resolved by simple or one-dimensional solutions. This understanding informs
the chapters in this book.
The book has four parts, organised around four interlinking themes: contextandcare; rights and responsibilities; regulating research; and