Research on euthanasia in legal science

12:35, 30 May, 2014
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On 6 June at 14:00, in an open meeting of the Legal Science Promotion Council of Rīga Stradiņš University that will take place in the Hippocrates lecture theatre, Rīga, 16 Dzirciema Street, Armen Gabrielyan will defend his doctoral thesis “Phenomenon of Euthanasia from the Perspective of Criminal Law, Criminology and Medical Biology”.

Nowadays euthanasia is one of the most controversial issues in national and international law. It has no clear designation in international law and an attitude towards it is not clear. However, in many countries around the world an issue of the legalization of euthanasia is being discussed because the lack of case law leaves several issues unresolved.

Euthanasia refers to the heatedly discussed problems of law, bioethics, philosophy and medicine because it touches upon such issues as, for example, whether a person has the right to freely treat their lives and where is the dividing line between life and death, whether life is an absolute value, and whether the preservation of life is always good for humans.

Nowadays no way or form of euthanasia can be considered a sufficient legal basis for killing a human and for termination of his or her rights to live. This is due to the philosophical, ethical, religious, medical, legal and other world views relating to that issue. It should be noted that in spite of the Europe-wide existing negative attitude towards euthanasia, there is a clear tendency associated with the legalization of passive euthanasia in some economically developed countries.

The study of euthanasia from the perspective of criminal law and criminology is a relatively new approach to the problem. There is no uniform and unchallenged access to the euthanasia, its concept and boundaries of implementation in the modern legal science. However, the need for the practical resolution of the problem and its relevance in today's society make it a promising direction for a research.