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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Daria Kotova
Bioethics and Human Rights from the International Law Perspective
Jurisprudence
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
The research question raised in this thesis concerns the establishment of the place of bioethics in contemporary international law with respect to human rights protection. The relevance of this question is underlined by the appeals made in the preambles of a number of applicable legal instruments (for instance, the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights) and by the active research activity in the field carried by such international organizations as UNESCO and Council of Europe. The interrelation of bioethics and human rights is also relevant in the light of the on-going process of fragmentation of international law.

The completed analysis of legal documents, judicial decisions and relevant scholarship is conclusive as to the answer to the research question posed in this thesis. Despite the significant amount of human rights instruments covering bioethics-related issues, it would be premature to assert that within international law, there exists a system of human rights protection in the field of scientific and medical activities. Neither is it possible to classify the existing instruments as a special regime within international law. Moreover, the adjudication of bioethics-related matters, i.e. in cases of in-vitro fertilization or organ transplantation, shows reluctance of courts to apply principles and concepts of bioethics to legal rules. This ambiguity of the status of bioethics might be caused by the controversial and vague character of bioethical discourse which is a problem not yet settled.

However, even though the norms created by the convergence of bioethics and human rights are far from being a structured system, the existence of common grounds of these two discourses, such as human dignity or personal autonomy, suggests the integration can further continue. Moreover, bioethics may find its place in such evolving concepts of international law as sustainable development.

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