The UN must recall that euthanasia violates fundamental rights

Euthanasia Violates Fundamental Rights

By ECLJ1678381163342


Petition addressed to the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, and to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, following the official procedure. This petition should receive a formal response from these human rights bodies, and is intended to prompt their concrete action.


Sir, Madam,


You have the mission to defend and promote human rights on the basis of the declarations and treaties adopted within the United Nations.


As you know, the prohibition of killing is the foundation of human rights. It is an inviolable principle of international law.


This principle was reaffirmed in the aftermath of the Second World War, after doctors were condemned at Nuremberg for having euthanized disabled people.[1] This principle does not provide for any exceptions to euthanasia. Therefore, any euthanasia - even if presented as voluntary - is a violation of human rights.


The European Convention on Human Rights clearly states that “No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally” (article 2). Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “Every human being has the inherent right to life.”


Even when presented in a liberal and voluntary manner, the decriminalization of euthanasia frontally violates the prohibition of killing.


Moreover, as the experience of countries such as Belgium demonstrates, once decriminalized, the practice of euthanasia becomes uncontrollable and spreads at the expense of the most vulnerable, disabled and elderly.


The decriminalization of euthanasia therefore not only leads to a systematic violation of human rights, but also to an extremely serious cultural and legal regression.


The decriminalization of euthanasia paves the way for the normalization of the suppression of the most fragile people, whose life and other fundamental rights you have the mission to defend.


That is why we ask you, as the persons specifically mandated to protect the rights of the most vulnerable, elderly and disabled:


- to reiterate the fundamental prohibition of euthanasia;

- initiate a process of reporting and investigation into countries that have legalized euthanasia.



[1] Trials of the War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10, Nuremberg October 1946-April 1949, Volume V, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1950.

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