The Law of Consent

Anyone reading this I challenge you to think of a time when something very precious of yours was taken away. Perhaps by brute force or lightly and subtlety. Perhaps you were touched in an inappropriate way; sexually or forcefully causing physical harm. Perhaps someone trespassed on your property and stole some things or damaged a favorite item of yours. Perhaps you underwent a medical treatment and it didn’t turn out the way that you had expected because the procedure wasn’t sufficiently explained to you; and so on.

Yes, we’ve all had some experience that we can relate to where someone did not respect our body, mind, our soul, possessions and/or property. Some people experience it more than others. It could be systemic that happens to a class of people, or within the tribal family unit. No doubt you’ve experienced it while going to school, perhaps a schoolyard fight or someone stealing your lunch. Why does it hurt us so much when someone – stranger or not – can just walk into your personal sphere be it physical, material, spiritual or emotional and cause you (sometimes) irreparable harm. I mean what goes through the mind of a person who has the balls to even do that to another human being, the self righteousness to treat you as a piece of property, a thing that they can do as they please – just no sense of respect for boundaries, autonomy and personal space and the silly justifications they use to defend such behavior.

That being said; we’ve all been victims and we all have been the perpetrators too if we really think about it, we’ve all been guilty of this at some point in our lives, some instances more serious than others.

It starts off when we are babies grow into toddlers. We grab at everything and protect what you imagine is yours, throw a temper tantrum if it is taken away. It is our parents, teachers, and guardians who teach us to ask for things, say please and thank you and that you will not always get your way even if you do. It gets more complicated as we get older, depending on the home environment you had growing up, some come from very loving and caring homes, others it’s abusive and toxic, while most are just mediocre, and as you get older whatever the product of your environment is you take it with you into the real world. Into your relationships with friends, intimate lovers, at the office and so on.

I am talking about: boundaries. What’s mine and what’s yours; where’s the line and how best not to cross it. The business of respecting boundaries is so prevalent in our [human] society that laws are dedicated to the protection of boundaries and instructions on how to engage safely and consequences for those who do not. It’s called consent. Consent is all about giving your permission to what you possess. In terms of your person-hood, bodily integrity, self-determination, self-government, self-autonomy these are uniquely yours to keep and you are to give away by providing consent. It’s the law.


Before we discuss consent in its natural form one needs to take into account the value of your body both in its physical form as in “personhood” and holistically, meaning your “identity”. Traditionally, “Personhood” is used to mean recognition of an individual or entity as having status as a person. In the real world “identity” is considered to entail a rather comprehensive set of “individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known. If I were to venture on how the law determines the body as property vs privacy, I would imagine they would take these two references into account. Personhood = property and Identity = privacy. Viewed through these lens one can see why issues of assault or anything of a medical nature, in fact for any crime that is an affront to the body or the identity of the body, carries great value and weight in the legal system and in our Charter as it seeks to measure and protect individual rights vs collective rights.

Commodification – The Body as Property vs Privacy

08-25-17-Colombia-China-sextrafficFirst off, we are human beings – not cattle to be tagged, bought or sold at an auction house. We are sentient beings that require interaction, accommodation, and reciprocity. There are two ways to view the body and when disputes arise with the scope in which to settle such disputes is usually accomplished through the lens of property vs viewing the body as the subject of privacy rights. It is easier to view the body in either of these terms for settlement depending on the nature of the dispute. “Sometimes the body is characterized as property, sometimes it is classified as quasi-property, and sometimes it is not conceived as property at all, but rather as the subject of privacy rights. Regardless of the precise legal language employed, property and privacy constructions of the body overlap to the extent that both protect the same interests-specifically, the right to possess one’s own body and the right to exclude others from it.” [Concepts of Personhood, 2011]

‘At last Igor finds a body with the appropriate consent form.’

The key difference between these two conceptions of the body appears to lie in the ability to transfer rights to others. Certain decisions draw a line between self-ownership (identity) and sale of the body to others (personhood) while separating the rights of intimate relatives from the interests of strangers. These subtle distinctions mirror the deep divisions between privacy and property theories, thus they may be employed to construct a conceptual map of the human body that allocates different claims to the realms of privacy and property.

Dead bodies and severed body parts, on the other hand, are not sheltered under the umbrella of privacy because they are no longer inextricably intertwined with a person. The right of personal privacy safeguards the integrity of the intact living human body as the physical embodiment of a person, but it does not shelter either dead bodies or severed body parts, which have lost their person-hood and may become objects of property. Reproductive material (frozen embryos and stored sperm) on other had presented a challenge for classification for it is both privacy and property in a sense that it’s somewhat of a bodily fluid that turns solid as the lifeform grows and therefore lies in a grey area of quasi-property, or not the subject of property rights at all but governed instead by precepts of privacy. In all cases, consent must be given.

“But if autonomy consists of the power to instrumentalize the body by extracting valueRATS from it and exchanging it with others, then the body should be considered a form of property. It follows that “property “in the body is necessary in order to protect commercial value and to provide a legal framework that governs the interests of strangers, whereas “privacy” suffices to preserve an individual’s rights in his or her own body and to safeguard the relational interests of family members.” [Privacy, Property and Human Body, 2000]

In terms of the body, the difference between the individual (identity) and property rights (personhood) begs us to ask; what kind of autonomy do we have in our bodies? Is it the autonomy that individual possession over a piece of property? Or is it the autonomy guaranteed under the constitutional right of privacy? Commodification is the tendency to see a person’s body as a collection of objects that are separable and commercially transferable. The primary danger of commodification is that it can quickly lead to exploitation and dehumanization particularly of people at the margins of society. This danger is most apparent in the quest by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to patent and market products derived from human tissues, (i.e. the widespread ‘bio-prospecting’ or ‘bio-piracy’ in the developing world).

The United Nations defines violence against women as:

“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrar deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

The above quote can be described as; “… widespread acceptance of genetic reductionist views of the person, in conjunction with an increased emphasis on personal autonomy and control, can lead to a situation where individuals no longer care about their personal autonomy and control, can lead to a situation where individuals no longer care about their personhood or bodily integrity. At a societal level, this might contribute to the development of a huge market for body parts and genetic material, and lead to levels of exploitation previously unseen.

mouse_listeners_1971855As a result, we might see the establishment of two social classes, one which can afford to purchase body parts and genetic treatments, and the other which subsists by selling parts of their bodies on an open ‘meat’ or ‘gene’ market. Granted that we are nowhere near this disturbing scenario, but it is nonetheless a subject that is worthy of our concern and in need of further attention.” We can also take this same formula to try to understand why some crimes largely go unreported. Specifically in terms of harassment, [sexual] assault and battery charges (both genders), to the other spectrum of human and organ trafficking. etc.

What is – Free, Prior, Informed Consent

Free, prior and informed consent means just that. Consent is given freely, consent is given before anything is being taken, and informed means that the giver knows exactly what they are giving away and what is to come back in return with possible outcomes, gains, and risk. Meaning ‘I give you permission’; to take, to have, to eat, to touch, to give, to watch, to use and so on. This simple seven letter word weighs in so much and deep are its implications that in our society we give our consent on a constant basis and in so many and in such a variety of ways that I bet most of the time we don’t even realize that we are consenting or what we are consenting to. But it is a seven letter word that deserves our respect and should not be taken so lightly in most cases.

Consent is also about respect – another seven letter word – Respect for persons requires that people, to the degree, that they are capable, be given the opportunity to choose what shall and shall not happen to them. To demonstrate the importance of consent, I will speak of it in legal terms because laws are based on this seven letter word and disrespecting it could land you in real trouble. We will discuss this in legal terms as it relates to bodily integrity and with that comes emotional integrity, psychological (mind) and spiritual integrity, as they are all interconnected and legally speaking when you cross the line and do things without consent – the law determines non-consensual charges be classified under “assault” and/or “battery”. While the importance of informed consent is unquestioned, controversy prevails over the nature and possibility of an informed consent. Nonetheless, there is widespread agreement that the consent process can be analyzed as containing three elements: information, comprehension, and voluntariness.

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With each of these subtitles listed above, I am attempting to go beyond the crime itself so we won’t dwell so much on facts, figures and motivations for such crimes. Instead, we will focus on why we should care when bodily integrity is compromised, why our judicial system takes crimes of this nature so seriously in examining the matter for determination. With each theme I introduce, obviously, there’s much more room to expand for research and commentary but if we can comprehend these crimes in terms of assault and battery, it becomes easier to comprehend the ethical nature in which that forms the foundation for lawsuits.

Free, prior and informed consent means just that. Consent is given freely, consent is given before anything is being taken, and informed means that the giver knows exactly what they are giving away and what is to come back in return with possible outcomes, gains, and risk. Meaning ‘I give you permission’; to take, to have, to eat, to touch, to give, to watch, to use and so on. This simple seven letter word weighs in so much and deep are its implications that in our society we give our consent on a constant basis and in so many and in such a variety of ways that I bet most of the time we don’t even realize that we are consenting or what we are consenting to. But it is a seven letter word that deserves our respect and should not be taken so lightly in most cases.

Consent is also about respect – another seven letter word – Respect for persons requires that people, to the degree, that they are capable, be given the opportunity to choose what shall and shall not happen to them. To demonstrate the importance of consent, I will speak of it in legal terms because laws are based on this seven letter word and disrespecting it could land you in real trouble. We will discuss this in legal terms as it relates to bodily integrity and with that comes emotional integrity, psychological (mind) and spiritual integrity, as they are all interconnected and legally speaking when you cross the line and do things without consent – the law determines non-consensual charges be classified under “assault” and/or “battery”. While the importance of informed consent is unquestioned, controversy prevails over the nature and possibility of an informed consent. Nonetheless, there is widespread agreement that the consent process can be analyzed as containing three elements: information, comprehension, and voluntariness.

With each of these subtitles listed above, I am attempting to go beyond the crime itself so we won’t dwell so much on facts, figures and motivations for such crimes. Instead, we will focus on why we should care when bodily integrity is compromised, why our judicial system takes crimes of this nature so seriously in examining the matter for determination. With each theme I introduce, obviously, there’s much more room to expand for research and commentary but if we can comprehend these crimes in terms of assault and battery, it becomes easier to comprehend the ethical nature in which that forms the foundation for lawsuits.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

The current notion of informed consent derives from the principle that people are entitled to have autonomy over their bodies. This right to life, liberty and security is a fundamental right yet in speaking of assault our legal system protects one’s right to be free from the threat of imminent, physical harm because it disturbed the victim’s sense of security. Assault charges are difficult to process in the sense that it does not require to have been any actual physical contact or a carrying out a threat; it’s there to ensure that people can conduct themselves free from unwarranted intimidation or harassment. [Tort Law, p.43] Below is a list, from the Canadian Women’s Foundation, of various types of abuses. This time I would like to view each item through the lens of what we have learned thus far in terms of commodification, property, and privacy. Each item should give you an indication as to why these types of crimes are taken seriously within our judicial system:

Physical Abuse: Slapping, choking or punching her. Using hands or objects as weapons. Threatening her with a knife or gun. Committing murder.

Sexual Abuse: Using threats, intimidation, or physical force to force her into unwanted sexual acts.

Emotional or Verbal Abuse: Threatening to kill her (or to kill the children, other family members or pets), threatening to commit suicide, making humiliating or degrading comments about her body or behavior, forcing her to commit degrading acts, isolating her from friends or family, confining her to the house, destroying her possessions, and other actions designed to demean her or to restrict her freedom and independence.

Financial Abuse: Stealing or controlling her money or valuables (of particular concern to older women). Forcing her to work. Denying her the right to work.

Spiritual Abuse: Using her religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate, dominate, and control her.

Criminal Harassment/Stalking: Following her or watching her in a persistent, malicious, and unwanted manner. Invading her privacy in a way that threatens her personal safety.

All Canadians pay a steep price specifically for violence against women. It’s estimated that each year, Canadians collectively spend $7.4 billion to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone, according to the Department of Justice. Cyber violence, which includes online threats, harassment, and stalking, has emerged as an extension of violence against women and young women (age 18-24) are most likely to experience online harassment in its most severe forms, including; stalking, sexual harassment and physical threats. In addition to sexism, there are many other forms of social inequality that compound abuse and violence, including racism, homophobia, classism, ageism, and religious persecution.

In assault and/or sexual assault cases there must be a reasonable apprehension of imminent harm. It does not matter if the defendant did not have the actual ability to cause harm as long as a reasonable person would have felt threatened. The fact that assault actions are rarely brought to term is probably the result of many factors.

First, there is the question of the expense of litigation. Where the plaintiff has suffered no physical harm but merely psychological distress, it is likely that even if the assault action were maintained, the expenses of the litigation would exceed the damages awarded. In view of the fact that the assessment of punitive damages tends to be quite low, where there are no real injuries there is little point in suing.

Second, it probably is felt by many that a lawsuit is an inappropriate way to respond to a typical assault. However, it still plays a valuable role in that it signals the common law’s concern in protecting not only tangible interests but the rights of individuals to live in peace, without fear of violence.

Battery, on the other hand, is treated more seriously within the court justice system, because in the legal sense, “battery is the intentional infliction of an unlawful force of another person. Consent, expressed or implied, is a defense to battery. Failure to resist or protest is an indication of consent if a reasonable person who is aware of the consequences and capable of protest or resistance would voice his/her objection. However, the consent must be genuine; it must not be obtained by force or threat of force or be given under the influence of drugs. Consent may also be vitiated by fraud or deceit as to the nature of the defendant’s conduct.” [Canadian Tort Law, 124]

The Medico-legal World

Throughout the medico-legal world “consent” is probably the most controversial and debated of all the health law issues more so than; abortion, assist and dying, cloning etc. The basis of the controversy arises from the role of medical, surgical and health care generally, and the role of the law, and in the way in which the two disciplines conflict.

The purpose of medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, psychology and any of the dozens of health professions is to respond to the health carelessness of the individual. Law, on the other hand, is a study of the relationship among individuals as defined by the legal rights of individuals and their legal duties to respond to those rights. The primary goal of the health provider is to determine the patient’s needs through various diagnostic techniques, to determine what can be done to meet those needs and to carry out whatever is required to fulfill that goal. The law, however, is not primarily concerned with the patient’s needs. Instead, it focuses on the patient’s rights, which may include the right to have those needs met; the right to have them net according to certain legal standards; or the right not to have those needs met at all. [Consent to Treatment, 2003]

2-9078-00-00The common law right to bodily integrity and personal autonomy is so entrenched in the traditions of our law as to be ranked as fundamental and deserving of the highest order of protection. This right forms an essential part of an individual’s security of the person and must be included in the liberty interests protected by s.7. Indeed, in my view, the common law right to determine what shall be done with one’s own body and the constitutional right to security of the person, both of which are founded on the belief in the dignity and autonomy of each individual, can be treated as co-extensive.

However, there is some confusion when patients are asked to consent to matters that are not directly related to their care and treatment, such as consent to being observed by students or researchers. The law of consent to treatment is not related to this issue. Consent to treatment is designed to protect a person’s bodily integrity from interference. Consent to be observed [researchers, students, medical staff etc.] is a privacy issue. From a risk management point of view a fully informed consent should be obtained and recorded and a policy established on what information is to be given to the patient.

Consent is not a form. It is a process. For a consent to be valid, the following criteria must be met:

    1. The patent must be legally competent to consent to treatment.
    1. The patient must possess the mental capacity to authorize care.
    1. The patient must receive a proper disclosure of information from the caregiver
    1. The authorization should be specific to the procedure to be performed
      the patient should have an opportunity to ask questions and to received understandable answers.
    1. The authorization obtained should be free of undue influence and coercion.
  1. The authorization obtained should be free of misrepresentation of material information.

Consent to Implantation of Medical Devices – A problem arises when the procedure involves the implantation of a manufactured device (Fitbit, heart pacer). The surgeon has some knowledge of the surgical and medical risks which must be divulged to the patient but may not know all the risks inherent in the procedure to be implanted. That knowledge is in the exclusive domain of the manufacturer. The Supreme Court of Canada found that the manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers (i.e. patients, of the dangers of its products of which it knew or ought to have known. This duty is continuing one which requires the manufacturer to issue warnings of any dangers discovered after distribution of the product. While the court recognized that the relationship between manufacturer and the patient is not the same as a consent to treatment situation, it is analogous to consent. The law tries to redress the imbalance between the patient who has no information and the doctor or manufacturer who has the information.

The question is now asked: If this patient had been informed of the risks, would she or he have consented?” A negative answer may result in liability since it illustrates that the patient has been injured by not being informed of the dangers of the implanted product. In standard medical or surgical procedures, the question is whether a reasonable person in the patient’s position would have consented if the advice regarding the risks had been given. While the Supreme Court of Canada decision related specifically to a silicone breast implant, it would equally apply to other medical, surgical or pharmaceutical products. This could include home dialysis equipment, various cardiac implants, and optometric implants or neurological implants.

Capacity

At common law, a person must consent to any medical treatment before it is administered; and, further, before giving that consent, a person must be given sufficient information to make it informed consent. These related concepts were translated in the area of substitute decision-making as no treatment or decision could be given or made on behalf of an incapable person without the consent or authority of the substitute decision-maker who by doing so was in effect deciding as the incapable person.

In personal care treatment area, informed consent is prescribed on the fundamentalpuzzle concept that a person has the right to refuse treatment. A person has the right to determine what will be done with his or her own body and has a constitutionally protected right to security of the person:

The right to determine what shall, or shall, not be done with one’s own body, and to be free from non-consensual medical treatment, is a right deeply rooted in our common law. This right underlies the doctrine of “informed consent”. With very limited exception, every person’s body is considered inviolate, and accordingly, every competent adult has the right to be free from unwanted medical treatment. The fact that serious risks or consequences may result from a refusal of medical treatment does not vitiate the right of medical self-determination. The doctrine of informed consent ensures the freedom of individuals to make choices about their medical care. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately must decide if treatment – any treatments – is to be administered.

The common law right to bodily integrity and personal autonomy is so entrenched insocks the traditions of our law as to be ranked as fundamental and deserving of the highest order of protection. This right forms an essential part of an individual’s security of the person and must be included in the liberty interests protected by s.7. Indeed, in my view, the common law right to determine what shall be done with one’s own body and the constitutional right to security of the person, both of which are founded on the belief in the dignity and autonomy of each individual, can be treated as co-extensive.

An assessor is a specially qualified, private individual who is a member of a defined list of helping professions and whose name appears on the list of recognized assessors. It is extremely important when requesting an assessment to be clear about the purpose of the capacity assessment and to be certain that an assessment is actually necessary for each of the circumstances. The consequences of finding incapacity are so serious that every reasonable precaution must be taken to avoid mistakes. A finding of capacity where it does not exist can be as serious as the finding of incapacity in a person who has the capacity. It is also crucial that the person requesting the capacity assessment does his or her due diligence to determine whether the assessor hired is qualified to conduct the capacity at issue. This would be of particular concern if a capacity assessor is used to conduct types of assessments not prescribed by the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 (and therefore not addressed in the assessors’ requisite training) such a testamentary capacity. Fortunately, when conducting assessments of capacity that are not required by legislation to be conducted by a capacity assessor, the “assessment” does not trigger any particular event or result.

Substitute Decision- Maker

The Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 presumes that a person 18 years of age or more is capable of entering into a contract. It goes further, however, providing that a person is entitled to rely on the presumption of capacity with respect to another person unless he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that the other person is incapable of entering into the contract or making a gift while his or her property is under guardianship. The onus of proof (that the other person who entered into the contractor received the gift did not have reasonable grounds to believe the person incapable) is on that other person. This presumption of capacity is significant and will often tilt the balance against a finding of incapacity. It reflects the policy choice of a democratic society which emphasizes the principles of self-determination and freedom. It is consistent with the modern value of self-empowerment. Without the presumption, decisions would be more paternalistic and controlling.

4623062573_1f87b2c2b0A person, it was thought, should be able to “live as they choose or wish without interference, so long as they do not break the law or endanger others” This democratic concept translated into the world of substitute decision-making as an avoidance of “unnecessary restrictions on liberty”. In other words, “the person who knows what he or she is doing, and understands the consequences, would…still have the power to refuse all medical treatment and social assistance offered”. This concept manifested itself in the substantive and procedural provisions of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, and explains some of its awkward wording and protective restrictions.

Capacity

At common law, a person must consent to any medical treatment before it is administered; and, further, before giving that consent, a person must be given sufficient information to make it informed consent. These related concepts were translated in the area of substitute decision-making as no treatment or decision could be given or made on behalf of an incapable person without the consent or authority of the substitute decision-maker who by doing so was in effect deciding as the incapable person.

In personal care treatment area, informed consent is prescribed on the fundamental concept that a person has the right to refuse treatment. A person has the right to determine what will be done with his or her own body and has a constitutionally protected right to security of the person:

The right to determine what shall, or shall, not be done with one’s own body, and to science-all_we_can_do_is_sit_and_wait-sits-waits-test-lab-mba0369_low2be free from non-consensual medical treatment, is a right deeply rooted in our common law. This right underlies the doctrine of “informed consent”. With very limited exception, every person’s body is considered inviolate, and accordingly, every competent adult has the right to be free from unwanted medical treatment. The fact that serious risks or consequences may result from a refusal of medical treatment does not vitiate the right of medical self-determination. The doctrine of informed consent ensures the freedom of individuals to make choices about their medical care. It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately must decide if treatment – any treatments – is to be administered.

The common law right to bodily integrity and personal autonomy is so entrenched in the traditions of our law as to be ranked as fundamental and deserving of the highest order of protection. This right forms an essential part of an individual’s security of the person and must be included in the liberty interests protected by s.7. Indeed, in my view, the common law right to determine what shall be done with one’s own body and the constitutional right to security of the person, both of which are founded on the belief in the dignity and autonomy of each individual, can be treated as co-extensive.

An assessor is a specially qualified, private individual who is a member of a defined list of helping professions and whose name appears on the list of recognized assessors. It is extremely important when requesting an assessment to be clear about the purpose of the capacity assessment and to be certain that an assessment is actually necessary for each of the circumstances. The consequences of finding incapacity are so serious that every reasonable precaution must be taken to avoid mistakes. A finding of capacity where it does not exist can be as serious as a finding of incapacity in a person who has the capacity. It is also crucial that the person requesting the capacity assessment does his or her due diligence to determine whether the assessor hired is qualified to conduct the capacity at issue. This would be of particular concern if a capacity assessor is used to conduct types of assessments not prescribed by the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 (and therefore not addressed in the assessors’ requisite training) such a testamentary capacity. Fortunately, when conducting assessments of capacity that are not required by legislation to be conducted by a capacity assessor, the “assessment” does not trigger any particular event or result.

Moving Forward – Our Future

Now we are coming to the punch-line of this article. What I am attempting to do is to create a level of understanding for the value of our bodies. This is something that is fundamentally your and yours only. However, we are moving into a future where it can take us in a variety of directions where the human body may become less valuable depending on where you fit within society. The various pathways of the future, that I speak of, won’t happen for decades still but it’s worth having some foresight as to some very probable outcomes based on today’s trajectory.

It’s not only the end goal of the visualized future but more importantly, it is also how we get to that visualized future; the risks and sacrifices that go along with it. I see a future where we will become more dependent on technology rather than agriculture. Our bodies will merge with technology where machines will know us better then we know ourselves. There’s is no denying that some form of this future will play out but my concern is for how we get there and what we do in order to get there.  In writing these essays are, in my simple way of reminding ourselves of the value of “organics” vs synthetics.

We all know how long it takes to change and/or reform our laws. In light of this, it would be to our advantage to have the foresight and determination to make changes where necessary and perhaps amend certain sections of our Charter in anticipation of this development rather than becoming reactive to fast-moving trends. Bodily integrity will now include mind integrity, intellectual integrity. Presently, in some instances we have Acts that are badly out of date while society is hastily moving forward to the point that government can’t adequately respond to the needs and demand of today’s society [citizens] Canada stands to become a leader in advancing in many technological industries including biotechnology but not at the cost of human dignity. In this case, ethics must win. We need not repeat recent history where we saw the vast amount of human experimentation, for example, in Nazi Germany for many developments that we are enjoying today. Germany wasn’t the only country many including the US were guilty of such doings. Germany in particular, these atrocities occurred because, at a time of war, there was no independent judicial system to hold doctors and scientists accountable for recourse and action.

Since then, we’ve advanced, however, human trafficking is still a clandestine and robustside effects industry and another means to advance science beyond traditional methods. Similar to a Human Rights Commission, perhaps in the future we would be required to launch an Artificial Intelligence and Bio-Ethics Commission that could work in unison with human rights to advocate, educate and adjudicate the ethical, social-cultural and legal implications of this advancing industry. If our government and judicial system cannot respond to citizen’s demands or if our laws are unfit to guide and enforce ethical and legal guidelines for which to grow a promising future, then I fear, organic/agriculture (and all that goes with it) will lose out in the path toward a new technological future.


References:

Medical Ethics: The State of the Law, C. Adele Kent, Lexis Nexis Butterworth, 2005, p.110

The Canadian Law of Consent to Treatment, 3rd Edition, Lorne E. Rozovsky, LexisNexis Butterworth, 2003

Canadian Mental Health Law & Policy, p.112

Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act

Tort Law, 5th Edition, KLAR, Carswell 2012, (Assault p.43)

The Law of Human Experimentation, David T. Marshall

Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for Research Involving Human Subjects, Boundaries Between Practice and Research (p. 127)

Canadian Tort Law, Cases, Notes & Materials, 14th Edition, Allen M. Linden, Lewis N. Klar, Bruce Feldthusen, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2014

Concepts of Personhood and the Commodification of the Body, Bryn Williams Jones, Health Law Review, 1999, Vol. 7(3), p. 11-13

Property, Privacy, and the Human Body, Radhika Rao, UC Hastings College of Law, 2000, Boston University Law Review: 80 B.U. L. Rev. 359 (2000).

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