GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS)

, 4:11

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The Right not to Live

A New Dimension of the Right to Live in End of Life Decisions
  • Vera Lúcia RaposoAffiliated withFaculty of Law, Coimbra University


In the old days the doctor was expected to maintain the patient’s life, even disregarding his wishes. The principle of beneficence and the right to life justified this understanding of the doctor’s duties and minimized the value of self-determination.

However, the juridical framework of end of life decisions was changed by new conceptions regarding the role of medicine, the patient-doctor relationship and the connection between human life and self-determination, therefore, giving raise to the so called right not to live, as an conjunction of the right to life with the right to self-determination.


European Court of Human Rights euthanasia human dignity right to life