Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The English Fetus and the Right to Life

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of European Journal of Health Law

Following the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 in English law, there was speculation as to whether the English legal position that the fetus has no right to life is compatible with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Vo v. France provides an opportunity to reflect on the current English and ECtHR approaches to the fetus. The problems of finding a fetal right to life, which Vo sidesteps, are noted. At the same time, the "all or nothingness" of rights language is not without difficulties and troubled the judges in Vo. In particular, the idea that the fetus has no right to life gives the impression that neither English nor ECHR law values the fetus. In this light, we find English and ECtHR judges trying to express a concern for the fetus which does not undermine a pregnant woman's legal interests. This article considers these issues and highlights the importance, in a highly genetic age, of developing ways of valuing the fetus without invoking the language of rights and thus without affecting the current legal balance of interests in the maternal-fetal relationship. The idea of valuing the fetus in this way is briefly explored with particular reference to aspects of selective abortion.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    European Journal of Health Law — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation