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Locating lawful abortion on the spectrum of 'proper medical treatment'

Neal, Mary (2015) Locating lawful abortion on the spectrum of 'proper medical treatment'. In: The Legitimacy of Medical Treatment. Biomedical Law and Ethics Library . Routledge, London, pp. 124-140. ISBN 9781138819634

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This chapter examines the concept of proper medical treatment in relation to lawful abortion, particularly in light of the campaign to decriminalise abortion altogether. It sketches a spectrum of proper medical treatment, from the paradigmatically proper to the liminally proper, and considers abortion against this spectrum. Rejecting both the suggestion that lawful abortion is always paradigmatically proper treatment, and the claim that it can only ever be “liminally” proper at best, an account is developed in which the status of abortion depends upon a range of factors, including the grounds upon which it is performed and public interests considerations.