The principle whereby the individual acquires the full control and use of its body is one of the specific features of the very idea of modernity. It is thanks to the break-up with the natural domination of monarchic absolutism and with the christian concept of the body as a temple of God that the democratic power delegation to the representatives of the people was made possible.
Article 8 of the ECHR recognises the right of each individual to “personal autonomy”, thus accepting “the possibility of engaging in activities perceived to be of a nature that is physically or morally harmful or dangerous to oneself”. Yet today we seem to get closer to these past conceptions.
Indeed, the political power in France keeps on limiting the freedom to control one’s own body. In seeking to protect the individual against oneself, the state shows a dangerous tendency to restrain and control more our lives. A mutation has taken place.
Political power in France constantly limits the free use of one’s body by seeking to protect the individual from itself.
Subjective human rights are henceforth subordinated to the objective right of mankind. The consequence is that certain individual choices are deemed “essentially” bad because they are opposed to this principle of “respect for human dignity” which is claimed by a new state paternalism.
On the one hand, it appears necessary to include the free use of oneself as a fundamental right in the French Constitution. On the other hand, we need to ensure that the actual decision-maker is truly the individual, and no one else, on specific issues such as surrogacy or euthanasia.