Law and healing

A history of a stormy marriage

By Margaret Brazier

Law and healing


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2918-5
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: February 2023
  • BIC Category: Bio-Ethics, Law / Medical & healthcare law, Law, Legal history, Bioethics, Medical & healthcare law, MEDICAL / Healing, MEDICAL / Ethics, LAW / Medical Law & Legislation, Medicine / Medical ethics & professional conduct
  • Series: Contemporary Issues in Bioethics


Exploring key aspects in the history of law's engagement with healthcare in England, this book unearths fascinating stories of the fractious relationship between the two highlighting lessons for medical law and bioethics that a focus on their history can offer. The popular view that the courts and legislators have from time immemorial consistently deferred to medical practitioners is shown to be wrong. Regulation of healers and the doctor/patient relationship and law's response to battles for dominance between different sorts of healers are examined. Healthcare in a broader sense than simply medical treatment is addressed. Considering historical perceptions of the human body at all life stages from the womb to the grave, the work identifies themes running through the history of how law responds to the problems generated by understanding of bodies and how science changes popular perceptions and law.



1. Medico-legal history: why bother?
2. Medical brethren
3. 'Unruly brethren', regulation and reputation
4. The bumpy road to the General Medical Council
5. Medical litigation
6. Human life, common law and Christianity
7. Your living body- 'Temple of the soul'
8. Reproductive bodies: mothers, midwives and morals
9. The not (yet) born child
10. Honouring the dead: commodifying the corpse


Margaret Brazier is Professor Emerita in Law at the University of Manchester

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