PDF - Europeans and their rights - The Right to Life in European constitutional and conventional case law (2006)
The right to life is the prime individual right in treaty and constitution systems of fundamental rights. The whole approach to protecting this right has changed considerably with scientific and medical advances. Whereas traditionally the concern was to protect life from all threats, today there is the additional very prominent issue of human -- scientific and medical -- intervention in the life-giving process in such forms as abortion, medically assisted procreation, embryo research, cloning and euthanasia. This comparative analysis of the case law of Europe's constitutional courts and the Council of Europe's European Court of Human Rights examines the nature and scope of the right to life in order to determine whether there is a common legal approach to the question in Europe.