Les remarques sur les limites de la protection de la vie humaine dans la le droit français
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Remarks on the range of protection of the right to life in the French legislation
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The present article is an attempt to determine the range of protection of the right to human life in the French legislation. Taking into account the indicated problem area, the author draws attention to the fact that this protection relates to each phase of the biological development of man, beginning with the pre-natal stage, through the post-natal period until the end of life. However, in dependence on the degree of man’s development (the embryo, fetus, child, adult) the level of its advancement is different. It needs remembering that the French law protects human life on both the civil and penal planes. Still, depending on the type of norm, the range and character of protection provided to man are different, too. As far as the French civil law is concerned, it is human beings who are guaranteed the primacy by the legislature through prohibition of any attempts on their dignity, and the protection of the individual starts from the moment of their birth. In turn, the criminal law imposes an absolute prohibition of depriving humans of Les remarques sur les limites de la protection de la vie humaine dans la le droit français 37 their lives in an intended manner. It must be stressed that the problem area discussed in the article required making reference to two categories of problems: on the one hand – an essay to qualify the limits of human life as regards temporal aspects and designating the initial and final moments of human existence, on the other one – a concrete reference to questions immanently connected with the sphere of conditions and circumstances of permissibility for individual’s existence or that of cessation of it (abortion, the status of human fetus, artificially aided procreation or euthanasia). In the concluding part of the considerations, it is stated that the question of protection of human life undoubtedly is an extremely complicated issue and raises numerous doubts of the interpretative nature. Indeed, from both the biological and legal perspectives there arise serious difficulties to precisely establish the individual stages of human development, as well as adjusting the law to varying conditions of protection of it. Therefore, in each situation where legal norms do not satisfy the requirements posed to them there opens a field of ethical reflection which relates to interpretation of the limits within which human life proceeds.
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