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Personal Or Family Privacy And Autonomy

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Chapter Summary

The constitutionally protected private sphere includes only personal rights that can be deemed 'fundamental' or 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty'. It involves at least three different kinds of interests. The first is the right of the individual to be free in his private affairs from governmental surveillance and intrusion; this interest is primarily protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Court also has held that, under the First Amendment, a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. The second is the individual interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters. The third is "the interest in independence in making certain kinds of important decisions, such as those relating to marriage, sexual conduct, procreation, contraception, abortion, family relationships or living arrangements, child rearing, and education.

Keywords: Autonomy; Family Privacy; personal rights



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