Carlo Casonato

Taking Patients Seriously

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Constitution, Right to health, Euthanasia, Case law, Englaro case

In the Italian legal system there are numerous references to self-determination regarding the medical field. Some of these are constitutional references, but they are not always explicit. However, the protection of medical consensus has been the object of a strong attack by a series of Court decisions (including the Constitutional Court) and by legal scholars. The author hopes that a recent decision by the Italian Court of Cassation will finally re-orient these interpretations. In fact, decision no 21748 of October 4th-16th 2007 clearly defines the legal sources, the content, the features and the limits of the patient's right to take decisions concerning the end of his/her life. The author therefore analyses the decision in a wider perspective underlining the reasoning of the Court with regard to the effective protection of consensus on medical treatments.

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