Eloisa M.B. Bellucci Antonio Mariconda

Compulsory Vaccination Under the Scrutiny of the Italian Constitutional Court: Some Remarks on the Right to Health and on Informed Consent for Medical Treatment

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With Judgement n. 14 of 17 February 2023, the Italian Constitutional Court upheld the legitimacy of the compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 that the Italian Government imposed for healthcare workers in 2021. The case provided the Court with the opportunity to clarify some grey areas of its previous case law about compulsory medical treatments, shedding light on the way to strike a balance between individual and collective interests in mass vaccination campaigns. Against this backdrop, this contribution focuses on the interplay between constitutional and international human rights standards regarding the protection of the right to health and informed consent to medical treatments in the context of public health emergencies. While, by applying its previous case law coherently, the Court reached the agreeable conclusion that the COVID-19 compulsory vaccination was legitimate, some questions about mass vaccination remain unsolved. In the filling of these gaps, a role could have been played by a closer review of international human rights standards and case law.


  • COVID-19
  • compulsory vaccination
  • Italian Constitution
  • right to health
  • collective interest
  • informed consent
  • ECHR


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