European Convention of Human Rights and Biomedicine

  • Vera Lúcia Raposo
  • Eduardo Osuna
Reference work entry


The European Convention of Human Rights and Biomedicine is a transnational binding instrument aimed to protect human right in the specific field of biomedical research, genetics, and health care. It is a unique legal instrument, with power to hold responsible the ratifying states that do not comply with the minimum level of protection conferred to human rights regarding biology, medicine, and health care.

Because European countries are still apart from each other in moral and ethical issues, some domains were particularly difficult to regulate. Embryo experimentation was one of them, given that Europe is still divided in the exact judicial status of the human embryo, though the drafters of the convention were careful enough by referring the regulation of general guidelines to the national margin of appreciation.

A ubiquitous point, throughout the text of the convention, is informed consent, one of the main achievements of the convention. Informed consent becomes the cornerstone of every medical act therein regulated: therapeutic interventions, organs and tissue donation, human experimentation, and clinical trials. All the referred topics deserve legal scrutiny by the convention, some more specified than others. It is expected that further discussion of these questions will supply a more cohesive base of understanding in order to, in the near future, achieve solutions more specified and concrete, either in the convention itself or in annexed protocols.


Human Dignity Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis Tissue Donation Predictive Genetic Test Scientific Merit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further Readings

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  7. Raposo VL, Self-determination in the end of life: a new understanding of human dignity. Third European Conference on Health Law – Book of Proceedings; 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Biomedical Law; Vieira de Almeida Law FirmCoimbra UniversityCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Legal MedicineUniversity of Murcia School of MedicineMurciaSpain

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