Main Article Content
Meconium, alcohol, fatty acid ethyl esters, ethics, legal duties, pregnancy, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
In Canadian law, pregnant women are held to owe no enforceable duties of care to their children before birth, but healthcare providers may be held accountable once children are born alive for causing injuries prenatally. When children are born in hospitals, recovered meconium may be tested without consent, but there may be an ethical duty to inform mothers. Meconium belongs to the newborns, and mothers may be required to make decisions about its use in their children’s best interests. Proposals to test meconium from particular populations raise concern about stigmatization.
2. Winnipeg Child and Family Services (Northwest Area) v. G (DF) (1997), 152 Dominion Law Reports (4th) 193.
3. R. v. Stillman (1997), 113 Canadian Criminal Cases (3d) 321.
4. Gibson E. Health Iinformation: Confidentiality and Access. In Downie J, Caulfield T, Flood CM. Canadian Health Law and Policy. 4th ed. Markham, Ont.:LexisNexis; 2011:253-94.
5. Scott R. The Body as Property. New York: The Viking Press; 1981.
6. R. v. Welsh, (1974) Road Traffic Reports 478.
7. Zadunayski A, Hicks M, Gibbard B, Godlovitch G. Behind the screen: legal and ethical considerations in neonatal screening for prenatal exposure to alcohol. Health Law J 2006;14:105-27.
8. Dickens B. Medical Negligence. In Downie J, Caulfield T, Flood CM. Canadian Health Law and Policy. 4th ed. Markham, Ont.:LexisNexis; 2011:115-51.