UDC 341.231.14:179.7(4)
Biblid: 1451-3188, 17 (2018)
Vol. 18, No 65, pp. 195-216
DOI:

Оriginal article
Received: 01 Jan 1970
Accepted: 01 Jan 1970

EUTHANASIA WITHIN THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Regodić Aleksandra (Правни факултет Универзитета у Београду), aleksr.ius@gmail.com

The paper deals with the deprivation of life of an individual by a physician at the explicit request of the patient because of his severe health condition as one of the forms of euthanasia. It starts with the right to life as a basic human right, which obliges states to protect it within their jurisdiction. Among the situations in which the deprivation of life is permitted, Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights does not list euthanasia. Therefore, voluntary active euthanasia is prohibited in most national legal systems. Nevertheless, with the advancement of medicine, the debate about euthanasia has acquired a new dimension over time. The paper expresses the opinion that by legalizing euthanasia, under strictly prescribed legal conditions, individual countries operate within the applicable international frameworks. In support of this view, it is noted that the quality of life must also be taken into account as part of Article 8 of the European Convention, which provides for the right to respect for private life. It is precisely the principle of limited autonomy that is the main argument invoked by the supporters of euthanasia legalisation. A mentally capable patient, therefore, has the right to decide on ending his life. A doctor is hence required to harmonize his relationship with an incurable patient according to his interests. The state must prescribe clear conditions and rules of procedure and establish a strong monitoring mechanism to prevent abuse.

Keywords: the right to life, obligations of states, legalisation of euthanasia, the principle of autonomy, the European Convention on Human Rights