Euthanasia in Brazil: between the Criminal Code and the dignity of the human person

GABRIELLA SOUSA DA SILVA BARBOSA FEDERICO LOSURDO About the authors

Abstract

The Brazilian Penal Code does not typify the practice of euthanasia, by qualifying this conduct as “manslaughter” (Article 121, first paragraph). The foreign legislation and Tribunals have started to discipline the “mercy killing”, while such debate did not achieve prominence in the Brazilian Legislative and Judicial Branches. Indeed, between the guarantee of human dignity (art.1º, cl. III, Brazilian Constitution) and the protection of the right to life (art. 5º, caput, Brazilian Constitution) emerges a clear collision of principles. With a comparative approach and having as background the decision in the ADI 3.510 of the Brazilian Supreme Court and the Project of Law n. 236/12 (the new Penal Code project), which typifies the practice of euthanasia, we analyze the possibility of not charging the euthanasia agent, in accordance with a constitutional interpretation.

Key-words:
euthanasia; life; dignity; new Penal Code; Brazilian Constitution

Universidade Federal do Paraná Praça Santos Andrade, n. 50, 3º andar, CEP: 80.020-300, Curitiba, Paraná. Brasil, Tel.: +55 41 3352-0716 - Curitiba - PR - Brazil
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