Chapter 19 – Legal Considerations in Reproductive and Sexual Health

Summary of chapter

Legal issues related to reproductive and sexual health can be complex, and legislation and regulations often vary between different jurisdictions in Australia. This chapter addresses some of the more common legal issues relating to reproductive and sexual health that may be encountered in general practice and other clinical settings and presents a practical approach to these. It focuses in particular on legal issues regarding young people and those with intellectual disability, as well as legal issues related to abortion in Australia. Information provided here does not, however, substitute for legal advice. Clinicians should be familiar with the laws in their own state or territory (see Appendices) and their own organisation’s policies, and should contact their medical defence organisation for advice on specific issues. Discussing any challenging cases with a colleague within the bounds of patient confidentiality may also be useful.

The following issues are not discussed in this chapter but are covered in other chapters:

Sexual assault and domestic violence legal issues are discussed in Chapter 16: Management of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. Legal responsibilities pertaining to contact tracing for sexually transmissible infections and HIV are covered in Chapter 12: Sexually Transmissible Infections. The law ... Buy now