Adrian Bulgaru, Maria-Beatrice Berna
Respecting human dignity during crises from the ethical and legal implications generated by the COVID-19 pandemic
The difficulties inherent to the operationalization of the concept of human dignity derive, in essence, both from the ineffable nature of the value associated with the term and from the multivalence of its application. From a scientific point of view, dignity eludes the attempts of unitary theorizing, being hypostasized both as a central legal value, as a fundamental normative principle or as an independent right. From a practical point of view, the implications of human dignity are manifold, as it affects the totality of human prerogatives and it is correlated to the set of State obligations undertaken in the field of the protection and promotion of human rights. In this paper we aim to advance the scrutiny of human dignity in a double scientific dynamic: (1) the analysis of the manner in which the restrictions, limitations or derogations invoked by States during the COVID-19 pandemics have influenced the guarantee of human dignity taking into account its characteristic of being the fundamental source of individual rights and freedoms; (2) examining the legal connection between the right to life and human dignity and its potential features derived from the conditions imposed by the health crisis.
Keywords: human dignity, the right to life, individual prerogatives, legal axiology, health crisis, COVID-19 pandemic