Thursday, July 22, 2021

Rights Concerning the Body

 

Rights concerning the body

 

These rights protect the integrity of the human body during a person’s lifetime

(both against others and against himself) and also safeguard the body after death. 

 

      According to Article 18/1, “The act by which a person disposes of the whole or a part of his body shall be of no effect … where such act is to be carried out before (his) death … (and) if such act (causes) a serious injury to the integrity of the human body.” The exception to this rule is an act accepted by medical practice (18/2).

 

      Promise for the disposition of one’s body in whole or in part before or after death is revocable (Art, 19/1).

      A person may refuse to submit himself to a medical or surgical examination or treatment (20/1).  The two exceptions are:

a)      Laws or regulations providing for physical examinations, compulsory vaccination or similar measures in the public interest

(20/2); 

b)     The power of the guardian to submit a minor or interdicted person to an examination or treatment beneficial to the incapacitated person’s health (20/3).

 

      The following are effects of refusal to submit to examination and treatment that do not involve any abnormal or serious risk:

a)      The person “forfeits the right to avail himself of the illness or infirmity which the treatment could have prevented, eliminated or lessened.” (21)  A case in point is the forfeiture of the right to seek damages for physical injury while the subsequent damage could have been averted by treatment which the victim refused to undergo.

b)     The court may consider as established the facts which the examination was meant to ascertain (22).  For example, a person charged of knowingly transmitting AIDS to a woman may refuse to submit to examination.  However, the Court can consider the status of the accused as AIDS Positive.

 

      A person who has the capacity to make a will (i.e. - including a minor over 15 years of age –Art. 308) has the right to prescribe the conditions of his funeral (Art.25).  In case, however, the deceased has left no prescriptions, the spouse or relatives may prescribe conditions of the funeral (Art. 26).

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