The Human Rights and Bioethics Convention: an international reference instrument
After recalling that the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine is the responsibility of the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe, Mrs Lwoff, who is its Executive Secretariat, underlines that this Convention is a reference Human rights at European level but also at international level. So the Inter-American Court of Human Rights uses the Oviedo Convention as a reference tool.
The celebration of the 20th anniversary of this convention will be an opportunity to adopt a forward-looking vision on the place of the principles established by the Council of Europe in the field of bio-medical development.
Many think that "development" means scientific and technological development, says Lwolff, but it is also about how practices evolve and the thinking of the Commission and Lord Foulkes seems to him to be important in this respect.
The recommendation adopted by the Committee in June 2016 has been distributed to all Member States. It reinforced the idea that it was necessary not only to look at new developments of modernity but also to look at whether things that seemed obvious were always so, such as respect for consent, equity of access to care, how people particularly the most vulnerable ones are cared for.
Evolution of practices or erosion of principles?
Considering that the work of reflection on the issue of older people is particularly relevant, Laurence Lwoff said that it has aroused great interest among the delegations, many of whom are committed to these issues
Laurence Lwoff indicated that priority areas of reflection have been chosen in order to discern
- •what is the result either of changes in practices or erosion of principles or their implementation
- technological development - implying change in practices - and respect for the principles