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Refusing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment and the ECHR

Black, I; (2018) Refusing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment and the ECHR. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies , 38 (2) pp. 299-327. 10.1093/ojls/gqy009. Green open access

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This article considers the content of the right to refuse life-prolonging medical treatment under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as well as the supervision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of domestic legal regimes for refusing life-prolonging treatment. I argue, employing doctrinal and philosophical analyses, that developments in the Convention jurisprudence with regard to the protection of private life under article 8 ECHR imply a substantively extensive right to refuse life-prolonging treatment, both contemporaneously and in advance. Moreover, I suggest that there is sufficient consensus among Council of Europe Member States on the right to refuse life-prolonging treatment to engage ECtHR supervision of states’ legal frameworks for such refusals. In addition, or in the alternative, I advance that the Strasbourg court may scrutinise Member States’ legal arrangements for refusals of life-prolonging treatment in virtue of the positive obligations to secure respect for private life that inhere in article 8 ECHR.

Type: Article
Title: Refusing Life-Prolonging Medical Treatment and the ECHR
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqy009
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqy009
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134119
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