open access

Vol 86, No 10 (2015)
ARTICLES
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Selected legal aspects of the protection of the unborn child in the light of the draft amendment to the Polish Penal Code

Monika Urbaniak, Robert Z. Spaczyński
DOI: 10.17772/gp/59562
·
Ginekol Pol 2015;86(10).

open access

Vol 86, No 10 (2015)
ARTICLES

Abstract

Criminal Law Codification Commission, acting at the Ministry of Justice prepared proposals for amendments in the Polish Penal Code, related to offenses against life and health that were presented to the public in 2013. The draft provides for the protection of the child in the prenatal stage, introducing a new category of the entity, to be protected, which is “unborn child” and “unborn child able to live outside the mother’s body”. These regulations provide for mother’s criminal liability and responsibility of the medical staff (a doctor), as well as the child’s father to the extent in which he is obliged to take steps aimed at rescuing the fetus. It is doctor’s responsibility to show particular care for human health and life since a doctor has special medical knowledge and that is regulated by art. 30 of the act on professions of doctor and dentist. The proposed rule changes were not brought before the legislature in the current term of the Sejm (2011-2015), but due to the development of medicine, including obstetrical ultrasound, which enables visualization of a child that moves in the womb and is treated as a separate entity with distinct personal features the grounds are given for the opinion that the issue of the legal status of the unborn child, particularly in the context of causing death of a child in the last phase before birth as a result of medical malpractice or other external factors will be back in the public discussion.

Abstract

Criminal Law Codification Commission, acting at the Ministry of Justice prepared proposals for amendments in the Polish Penal Code, related to offenses against life and health that were presented to the public in 2013. The draft provides for the protection of the child in the prenatal stage, introducing a new category of the entity, to be protected, which is “unborn child” and “unborn child able to live outside the mother’s body”. These regulations provide for mother’s criminal liability and responsibility of the medical staff (a doctor), as well as the child’s father to the extent in which he is obliged to take steps aimed at rescuing the fetus. It is doctor’s responsibility to show particular care for human health and life since a doctor has special medical knowledge and that is regulated by art. 30 of the act on professions of doctor and dentist. The proposed rule changes were not brought before the legislature in the current term of the Sejm (2011-2015), but due to the development of medicine, including obstetrical ultrasound, which enables visualization of a child that moves in the womb and is treated as a separate entity with distinct personal features the grounds are given for the opinion that the issue of the legal status of the unborn child, particularly in the context of causing death of a child in the last phase before birth as a result of medical malpractice or other external factors will be back in the public discussion.
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Keywords

unborn child / Polish Penal Code / medical responsibility /, / legal protection

About this article
Title

Selected legal aspects of the protection of the unborn child in the light of the draft amendment to the Polish Penal Code

Journal

Ginekologia Polska

Issue

Vol 86, No 10 (2015)

DOI

10.17772/gp/59562

Bibliographic record

Ginekol Pol 2015;86(10).

Keywords

unborn child / Polish Penal Code / medical responsibility /
/ legal protection

Authors

Monika Urbaniak
Robert Z. Spaczyński

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