chapter  1
9 Pages

Law and bioethics

This volume focuses on legal perspectives in bioethics. The ‘‘contribution’’

or ‘‘intrusion’’ of law, lawyers, and courts in bioethics has been con-

troversial from the very inception of the field. While some find the power of

the law essential to protecting patients, others have argued that the law is

too blunt an instrument to deal with the delicate, intimate, and highly

variable circumstances at the core of individual decisions concerning medi-

cal treatment. Some have argued that the intrusion of non-medical profes-

sions, including law, creates ‘‘strangers at the bedside,’’ while others appreciate the accountability built into a legal approach.