• Aspasia Kalafati Athens Administrative Court of Appeal, Greece


The rapid development of technology in the biological sciences has resulted in the development of a special legislation and jurisprudence: the creation of "biolaw". In the legal world, one of the issues that continue to be a "thorn" is the question of the legal nature of the embryo and its relationship to the pregnant mother. This issue is directly related to the time of the beginning of human life, that is, to the "beginning" of the natural person, which delimits its biological autonomy and, further, to the protection of unborn life. However, the progress of the science of genetics, the decoding of DNA in 1950 and the mapping of the human genome in June 2000, alongside the rapid development of Medically Assisted Reproduction have shifted the field of legal interest to the question of legal nature of "mere reproductive material" and "fertilized ovum" and their legal protection. In addition to the national regulations of each legal order, the approach of the above issues is also supported by the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.H.R) in the light of the Europ. Convention. This weighting therefore concerns the rights of the father, the rights of the life of the embryo and its value, the rights of freedom and autonomy of the woman in the choice of motherhood (full or non- enjoyment of sexual freedom, possibility of access to contraception or abortion), but also the public purposes concerning the safeguarding of the health of the pregnant woman, during an abortion (especially when the two lives are biologically in conflict, the survival of the pregnant woman or the embryo, or when the life of the embryo conflicts with the health of the pregnant woman).

Based on the above, this work attempts to present some of the basic common elements of biolaw, from the legal perspective, always related to the embryo or fetus: a ) The right to life and how it is connected to human dignity, b) the issue of the beginning of life and how it is connected to pregnancy, the conflicts of rights observed, the right to reproduction and prenatal diagnosis, but also death and c) the right to health.

All the above will be attempted to be presented as simply as possible, through jurisprudential examples, based on cases that were brought to the European Court of Human Rights (E.C.H.R).

Finally, some concerns-ethical dilemmas related to modern technologies (synthetic life? mouse embryogenesis? experimental vaccines in pregnant women?) and red lines, in the context of bioethics, will be raised.

May 13, 2023
How to Cite
KALAFATI, Aspasia. ETHICS OF HEALTHY LIFE SUSTAINABILITY. International Journal of Prenatal and Life Sciences DOI:10.24946/IJPLS, [S.l.], p. 1-32, may 2023. ISSN 2945-011X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 june 2024.