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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book Human Rights, State Sovereignty and Medical Ethics: Examining Struggles around Coercive Sterilisation of Romani Women. This book aims dispassionately to assess the interface between law - in this case international human rights law and society, in this case two advanced, industrialized European states, the Czech and Slovak Republics. It addresses the following question: To what extent does the international human rights law order live up to its promise of dignity, where persons live under conditions of extreme stigma and exclusion, in atomized, pariah situations? Do human rights in a supranational legal form actually re-frame human autonomy? The book also contribute to future efforts to identify other targeted groups, such as women with psycho-social disorders, older women, and transsexuals, with a view to encouraging documentation and enabling remedy efforts also for these people.

Keywords: European states; human autonomy; international human rights law; psycho-social disorders; Slovak Republic



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