Université Lille 2 Droit et Santé

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Tuesday 24 November 2020
Ecole Doctorale 74
Faculté de Droit
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59000 - Lille -France
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Viva voce examinations of PhD Thesis

The doctor and the death (10-oct-2007)

14/11/2007 11:47 Age: 13 an(s)
Category: David Bakouche, CEP, Private Law PhD

By: Magali Contrafatto

This Private Law PhD thesis was realised inside the Centre éthique et procédure and supervised by David Bakouche.

This thesis aims at analysing the extent to which the tendency to recognize the autonomy of the patient’s will influences the evolution of the doctor’s role with respect to death. The author focuses on the traditional role assigned to the doctor to preserve life. This important power is composed of rights and duties. This power is founded not only upon body cares but also upon the implementation of public health policies. The author’s various reflections leads him to examine the notion of medical act, the personality of the embryo, the definition of death or organ donation. The doctor has to preserve the life of his patient, as he engages his responsibility. He also has to respect his patient’s death, refraining himself from any unreasonable obstination. This does not necessarily imply that the doctor must accept the patient’s will to die. And yet, within the light of the evolution of the medical act, which is not solely therapeutic but can also be for comfort, we examine the opportunity of conferring to the doctor the right to take the patient’s life. French law does not allow euthanasia or assisted suicide, even though the law tries to match the reality of euthanasia. From the experience of other countries, the author proposes to legislate upon euthanasia and assisted suicide. The idea is to make the autonomy of the patient prevail, but to keep it within the frame of the doctor’s power. Today’s de facto situation appears indeed to be insufficient, both for the doctors and for the patients.

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