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The interaction between law, Science and Society

This chapter focuses on Advance Directives at the “end of life” under European Law and European Biolaw with a special reference to some selected normative sources, namely the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 3, paragraph 2, and Article 1), and to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine (Oviedo Convention) (Article 6 and Article 9), together with the undeniable contribution of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the application (and often only a request for application) of some articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). In this respect, the Oviedo Convention represents the first attempt to provide a common binding framework at a European level in the field of Advance Directives. Although such Convention was drafted in the context of the Council of Europe (and has not been signed by the European Union), the work tries to highlight the importance that it may have in achieving a “European common approach” in the context of EU law, thanks to the “bridging role” played by the Strasbourg Court. The Human Rights approach—which is adopted in this work—is based on the conviction of the necessary interface between Bioethics and Human Rights, considering that biomedical issues, when they deal with fundamental values and rights, not only concern the biomedical field but also require the conceptual support of International Biolaw.
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