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Miss Rachael Giles

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Member of the Durham Law School  


Rachael is studying towards a Master of Jurisprudence (MJur). She graduated from Durham University in 2020 with an LLB Honours Degree in Law. She is a new member of the Centre of Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS).

Current Research

Rachael’s Thesis focuses on the issue of pregnant women who wish to refuse a caesarean section but have their decisions overridden on account of their incapacity. Her research will be centred around the case of Re MB (Caesarean Section) [1997] 2 FLR 426 and the current legal stance that a woman who has capacity may refuse a caesarean section even where the consequence may be the death or serious handicap of the child she bears. However, she will question why twenty years later there is yet to be a case in which this scenario has occurred in practice. In particular, she will discuss whether all of these women really did lack capacity and whether the interests of the foetus had any bearing on the Courts decisions. Ultimately, she intends to demonstrate that the black-letter law is not being accurately embraced by the Courts. The working title of her Thesis is “Refusal of Caesarean section: Capacity, Consent and Compulsion”.


Professor Emma Cave

Dr Samantha Halliday

Research interests

  • Medical Law