Italian Constitutional and Cassation Courts: when the right to die of an unconscious patient raises serious institutional conflicts between state powers

Gentili, Gianluca and Groppi, Tania (2011) Italian Constitutional and Cassation Courts: when the right to die of an unconscious patient raises serious institutional conflicts between state powers. ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, 18 (1). pp. 73-88. ISSN 1082-944X

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Abstract

On February 9, 2009, the death of a young woman who had lain in a permanent vegetative state (PVS) for seventeen years brought an end to an unprecedented conflict between institutional powers in Italy. The case drew attention to issues such as the refusal of life-sustaining medical treatments, living wills, and the application of the "substitute judgment test." It also focused the interest of scholars and society on the power of judges to decide cases dealing with controversial ethical issues in areas not addressed by legislation. In giving account of the events surrounding the case, this note will focus on the case's constitutional implications and analyze relevant acts issued by the Italian judicial, legislative, and executive powers. The case stands out as an example of the process of the redefinition of the traditional framework of sources of law and of the structure of judicial review currently taking place in Italy. This process is characterized by the growing relevance given to judicial intervention in the production of law and by an increasingly residual role played by the Parliament.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ1518 Individual ethics. Character. Virtue Including practical and applied ethics, conduct of life, vices, success, ethics for children
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ1725 Ethics of social groups, classes, etc. Professional ethics
K Law > KJ Europe
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Depositing User: Gianluca Gentili
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 12:56
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 10:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/57090

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