Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Consent Related Abstracts

5 Islam, Forced Marriages and Pakistani Culture: An Analytical Overview

Authors: Arshad Munir, Naseem Akhter, Rozina Khattak

Abstract:

The Islamic social and family system is very clear concerning will, choice, consent and negation of compulsion and force in human life. Marriage is not only a civil contract but also a religious and spiritual contract between spouse (man and woman), which allows them for each other to live gladly, joyfully and legally in the society. It is an immortal and perpetual association between man and woman, which is filled with sympathetic affection, kindness, compassion and security. Islam gives specific rights to parents and guardians to set up the marriage ceremony and get done it as a respectful family occasion, confer their blessing and advice for a life partner of their children. The rights of parents and guardians are summed up in the term of "Willayah”. Islam does not permit parents, guardians and other relatives to compel their children regarding the marriage of their choice, because the groom and the bride are the real parties of the contract. Therefore, their willingness is of prime importance in order to spend whole life with each other. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prohibits forcing a virgin to marriage without her permission, whether this is her father or someone else. The right of free consent to choose a life partner is the basic right for the human which is God (Allah) gifted. Unfortunately, forced marriage is a common practice in Pakistani society that has no link with Islam. This article is being written in the same context.

Keywords: Islam, Choice, Consent, Forced Marriage, Parents, spouse

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4 Decision Making Regarding Spouse Selection and Women's Autonomy in India: Exploring the Linkage

Authors: Nivedita Paul

Abstract:

The changing character of marriage be it arranged marriage, love marriage, polygamy, informal unions, all signify different gender relations in everyday lives. Marriages in India are part and parcel of the kinship and cultural practices. Arranged marriage is still the dominant form of marriage where spouse selection is the initiative and decision of the parents; but its form is changing, as women are now actively participating in spouse selection but with parental consent. Spouse selection related decision making is important because marriage as an institution brings social change and gender inequality; especially in a women’s life as marriages in India are mostly patrilocal. Moreover, the amount of say in spouse selection can affect a woman’s reproductive rights, domestic violence issues, household resource allocation, communication possibilities with the spouse/husband, marital life, etc. The present study uses data from Indian Human Development Survey II (2011-12) which is a nationally representative multitopic survey that covers 41,554 households. Currently, married women of age group 15-49 in their first marriage; whose year of marriage is from 1970s to 2000s have been taken for the study. Based on spouse selection experiences, the sample of women has been divided into three marriage categories-self, semi and family arranged. Women in self arranged or love marriage is the sole decision maker in choosing the partner, in semi arranged marriage or arranged marriage with consent both parents and women together take the decision, whereas in family arranged or arranged marriage without consent only parents take the decision. The main aim of the study is to find the relationship between spouse selection experiences and women’s autonomy in India. Decision making in economic matters, child and health related decision making, mobility and access to resources are taken to be proxies of autonomy. Method of ordinal regression has been used to find the relationship between spouse selection experiences and autonomy after marriage keeping other independent variables as control factors. Results show that women in semi arranged marriage have more decision making power regarding financial matters of the household, health related matters, mobility and accessibility to resources, when compared to women in family, arranged marriages. For freedom of movement and access to resources women in self arranged marriage have the highest say or exercise greatest power. Therefore, greater participation of women (even though not absolute control) in spouse selection may lead to greater autonomy after marriage.

Keywords: Autonomy, Consent, arranged marriage, spouse selection

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3 Regional Variations in Spouse Selection Patterns of Women in India

Authors: Nivedita Paul

Abstract:

Marriages in India are part and parcel of kinship and cultural practices. Marriage practices differ in India because of cross-regional diversities in social relations which itself has evolved as a result of causal relationship between space and culture. As the place is important for the formation of culture and other social structures, therefore there is regional differentiation in cultural practices and marital customs. Based on the cultural practices some scholars have divided India into North and South kinship regions where women in the North get married early and have lesser autonomy compared to women in the South where marriages are mostly consanguineous. But, the emergence of new modes and alternative strategies such as matrimonial advertisements becoming popular, as well as the increase in women’s literacy and work force participation, matchmaking process in India has changed to some extent. The present study uses data from Indian Human Development Survey II (2011-12) which is a nationally representative multitopic survey that covers 41,554 households. Currently married women of age group 15-49 in their first marriage; whose year of marriage is from the 1970s to 2000s have been taken for the study. Based on spouse selection experiences, the sample of women has been divided into three marriage categories-self, semi and family arranged. Women in self-arranged or love marriage is the sole decision maker in choosing the partner, in semi-arranged marriage or arranged marriage with consent both parents and women together take the decision, whereas in family arranged or arranged marriage without consent only parents take the decision. The main aim of the study is to show the spatial and regional variations in spouse selection decision making. The basis for regionalization has been taken from Irawati Karve’s pioneering work on kinship studies in India called Kinship Organization in India. India is divided into four kinship regions-North, Central, South and East. Since this work was formulated in 1953, some of the states have experienced changes due to modernization; hence these have been regrouped. After mapping spouse selection patterns using GIS software, it is found that the northern region has mostly family arranged marriages (around 64.6%), the central zone shows a mixed pattern since family arranged marriages are less than north but more than south and semi-arranged marriages are more than north but less than south. The southern zone has the dominance of semi-arranged marriages (around 55%) whereas the eastern zone has more of semi-arranged marriage (around 53%) but there is also a high percentage of self-arranged marriage (around 42%). Thus, arranged marriage is the dominant form of marriage in all four regions, but with a difference in the degree of the involvement of the female and her parents and relatives.

Keywords: Consent, kinship, spouse selection, regional pattern

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2 From Forked Tongues to Tinkerbell Ears: Rethinking the Criminalization of Alternative Body Modification in the UK

Authors: Luci V. Hyett

Abstract:

The criminal law of England and Wales currently deems that a person cannot consent to the infliction of injury upon their own body, where the level of harm is considered to be Actual or Grevious. This renders the defence of consent of the victim as being unavailable to those persons carrying out an Alternative Body Modification procedure. However, the criminalization of consensual injury is more appropriately deemed as being categorized as an offense against public morality and not one against the person, which renders the State’s involvement in the autonomous choices of a consenting adult, when determining what can be done to one’s own body, an arbitrary one. Furthermore, to recognise in law that a person is capable of giving a valid consent to socially acceptable cosmetic interventions that largely consist of procedures designed to aesthetically please men and, not those of people who want to modify their bodies for other reasons means that patriarchal attitudes are continuing to underpin public repulsion and inhibit social acceptance of such practices. Theoretical analysis will begin with a juridical examination of R v M(B) [2019] QB 1 where the High Court determined that Alternative Body Modification was not a special category exempting a person so performing from liability for Grevious Bodily Harm using the defence of consent. It will draw from its reasoning which considered that ‘the removal of body parts were medical procedures being carried out for no medical reason by someone not qualified to carry them out’ which will form the basis of this enquiry. It will consider the philosophical work of Georgio Agamben when analysing whether the biopolitical climate in the UK, which places the optimization of the perfect, healthy body at the centre of political concern can explain why those persons who wish to engage in Alternative Body Modification are treated as the ‘Exception’ to that which is normal using the ‘no medical reason’ canon to justify criminalisation, rather than legitimising the industry through regulation. It will consider, through a feminist lens, the current conflict in law between traditional cosmetic interventions which alter one’s physical appearance for socially accepted aesthetic purposes such as those to the breast, lip and buttock and, modifications described as more outlandish such as earlobe stretching, tooth filing and transdermal implants to create horns and spikes under the skin. It will assert that ethical principles relating to the psychological impact of body modification described as ‘alternative’ is used as a means to exclude person’s seeking such a procedure from receiving safe and competent treatment via a registered cosmetic surgeon which leads to these increasingly popular surgery’s being performed in Tattoo parlours throughout the UK as an extension to other socially acceptable forms of self-modification such as piercings. It will contend that only by ‘inclusive exclusion’ will those ‘othered’ through ostracisation be welcomed into the fold of normality and this can only be achieved through recognition of alternative body modification as a legitimate cosmetic intervention, subject to the same regulatory framework as existing practice. This would assist in refocusing the political landscape by erring on the side of liberty rather than that of biology.

Keywords: Criminal Law, Consent, Biopolitics, body modification

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1 Feasibility of Implementing Digital Healthcare Technologies to Prevent Disease: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of a Digital Intervention Piloted in the National Health Service

Authors: Rosie Cooper, Tracey Chantler, Ellen Pringle, Sadie Bell, Emily Edmundson, Heidi Nielsen, Sheila Roberts, Michael Edelstein, Sandra Mounier Jack

Abstract:

Introduction: In line with the National Health Service’s (NHS) long-term plan, the NHS is looking to implement more digital health interventions. This study explores a case study in this area: a digital intervention used by NHS Trusts in London to consent adolescents for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) immunisation. Methods: The electronic consent intervention was implemented in 14 secondary schools in inner city, London. These schools were statistically matched with 14 schools from the same area that were consenting using paper forms. Schools were matched on deprivation and English as an additional language. Consent form return rates and HPV vaccine uptake were compared quantitatively between intervention and matched schools. Data from observations of immunisation sessions and school feedback forms were analysed thematically. Individual and group interviews were undertaken with implementers parents and adolescents and a focus group with adolescents were undertaken and analysed thematically. Results: Twenty-eight schools (14 e-consent schools and 14 paper consent schools) comprising 3219 girls (1733 in paper consent schools and 1486 in e-consent schools) were included in the study. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals, with English as an additional language and students' ethnicity profile, was similar between the e-consent and paper consent schools. Return of consent forms was not increased by the implementation of the e-consent intervention. There was no difference in the proportion of pupils that were vaccinated at the scheduled vaccination session between the paper (n=14) and e-consent (n=14) schools (80.6% vs. 81.3%, p=0.93). The transition to using the system was not straightforward, whilst schools and staff understood the potential benefits, they found it difficult to adapt to new ways of working which removed some level or control from schools. Part of the reason for lower consent form return in e-consent schools was that some parents found the intervention difficult to use due to limited access to the internet, finding it hard to open the weblink, language barriers, and in some cases, the system closed a few days prior to sessions. Adolescents also highlighted the potential for e-consent interventions to by-pass their information needs. Discussion: We would advise caution against dismissing the e-consent intervention because it did not achieve its goal of increasing the return of consent forms. Given the problems embedding a news service, it was encouraging that HPV vaccine uptake remained stable. Introducing change requires stakeholders to understand, buy in, and work together with others. Schools and staff understood the potential benefits of using e-consent but found the new ways of working removed some level of control from schools, which they found hard to adapt to, possibly suggesting implementing digital technology will require an embedding process. Conclusion: The future direction of the NHS will require implementation of digital technology. Obtaining electronic consent from parents could help streamline school-based adolescent immunisation programmes. Findings from this study suggest that when implementing new digital technologies, it is important to allow for a period of embedding to enable them to become incorporated in everyday practice.

Keywords: Prevention, Digital, Consent, immunisation

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