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[Perspectives] Emotion, error, and judgment

Physicians who pick up Ian McEwan’s The Children Act may be intrigued by its focus on legal cases involving medicine and ethics, but the book is really a character study of High Court judge Fiona Maye. She is a specialist in family law who is bound by the UK’s Children Act to hold the welfare of children as her paramount concern. Like many physicians, Fiona grapples with the emotional difficulties of a job that requires making decisions about the lives of others.