The compleat lawyer - medical law as practical reasoning: doctrine, empiricism and engagement
[in special issue: Across the Spectrum of Medical Law: a Special Issue in Honour of Margaret Brazier]
Medical Law Review, 20, (1), Winter Issue, . (doi:10.1093/medlaw/fwr034).
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Margot Brazier has modelled the relationship between legal scholarshipand health care practice — an evidence-based approach to doing good in the real world through the application of the discipline of law. No ivory tower academic, but a good citizen. This paper explores the expression of her comprehensive contribution in an academic paper and a policy review. She has shown how law needs to take into account the realities of the clinic when considering the plausibility of various claims for the doctrineof informed consent. She has also demonstrated howdiscipline could be brought to bear on policy-making, where in the Surrogacy Review she prioritised empirical evidence over preconceptions: evidence-based policy not policy-based evidence as modern consultation documents too often elicit. Margot Brazier has also provided a role model for academic lawyers’ contribution to the public good; not only through ensuring the proper administration of the law (as chair of the Animal Procedures Committee for the Home Office), but also in shaping a cathartic response to public concerns as Chair of the Retained Organ Commission. She did not set out to establish a grand theory of medical law, but rather has built an approach that has enriched its practice and has had a lasting impact on thoseworking in the field. In her hands, lawis a tool for improving the practice of health care.
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