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Udhr Recognition Of The Child Before Birth: The Historical Context

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Chapter Summary

Historically, there had been a long common law tradition of protecting the child before birth from abortion. Historically also, the medical profession formally took the Hippocratic Oath, and continued through the 1940s to take this oath at graduation and profession. The Hippocratic Oath recognized that mother and unborn child as patients were owed a duty of care that precluded deliberate harm to either patient. The Preamble to the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child acknowledges that &t;the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth&t;. The concept of a duty to protect the child before birth was well established and included a solemn duty to maintain respect for human life from the time of conception and to protect human life from the time of conception according to the laws of humanity.

Keywords: child before birth; childs mother; Hippocratic Oath; laws of humanity; Rights of the Child

10.1163/ej.9789004175600.i-350.9
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