Updated: Sept. 8, 2018 (Initial publication: April 30, 2018)

Publications

This working document was intended to serve as a support for a conference pronounced in French in the conference Droit et Ethique ( Law & Ethics) of May 31, 2018 in a symposium organized by the Court of Cassation and the Association Française de Philosophie du Droit.  French Association of Philosophy of Law on the general theme Law & Ethics.

See a general presentation of this conference

Rather, it has served as a support for the article to be published in the Archives de Philosophie du Droit (APD). This article is written in French. 

 

Summary.

It is through the Law that the human being has acquired a unity in the West (I). What religion could have done, the Law also did by posing on each human being the indetachable notion of him of "person" (I.A). But this is what is challenged today, not the personality and the power that the human being has to express his freedom but the unity that implies in the disposition that we have of ourselves in repelling the desire that others have always had to dispose of us. Current law tends to "pulverize" human beings into data and transform into neutral legal services what was considered before as the devouring of others. The legal concept of "consent", ceasing to be proof of a free will but becoming an autonomous concept, would suffice (I.B.).

To prevent the reigning of the "law of desires", which merely reflects the adjustment of forces, we must demand here and now the ethical sovereignty of Law, because Law can not be just just be just the interests adjustment (II). We can form this request if we do not want to live in an a-moral universe (II.A), if we see that the unity of the person is the legal invention that protects the weak human being (II.B.). If we admit this imperative, then we must finally ask who in the legal system will express and impose it, especially the legislator or the judge, because we seem to have lost the ability to recall this principle of the Person on which the West was so centered. But the principles that are no longer said disappear. There would then remain only the case-by-case adjustment of interests between human beings in the world field of particular forces. At this yardstick, Law would be more than a technique of securisation of particular adjustments. Law would be reduced at that and would have lost its link with Ethics. (II.C).

 

March 9, 2018

Thesaurus : Doctrine

Sylviane Agacinski explains her book on two subjects: "gestation for others" on the one hand, organ harvesting from corpses on the other.

Read a presentation of Sylviane Agacinski's book: Le tiers-corps. Réflexion sur le don d'organes.

Listen to Sylviane Agacinski's interview on France-Culture.

During this interview, Sylviane Agacinski recalls that the principles insofar as they pose the dignity of the human person and their respect do not have to be "reviewed".

She notes that the method which from the outset posed the revision of the bioethics law, which does not at all imply the revision of these principles, does not lead under the pretext of a "societal evolution" and by soliciting opinion public in this way.

She challenges the definition of ethics which would be "limit the damage", in particular in the area of ​​surrogacy.

So that one cannot conceive of ethical GPA, in particular because it is always remunerated.

It is as if when, at the time of the abolition of slavery, the solution of "ethical slavery" had been considered;

In the program is broadcast a sound extract from Ogien, who said that the exchange between two people should be admitted because it is a fact and that the law must frame it. To deny it is, according to him, a blindness.

 

Sylviane Agacinski completely disputes this position. She says it is by no means a "double gift", but a real market. She points out that Ogien was a libertarian, that he believed that one is "owner" of his body and that one can therefore dispose of it, and that he therefore admitted that one can sell it. She believes that this is an "intrinsic abuse" and should not be admitted.

In the program, we then ask Sylviane Agacinski if she would admit these practices if we managed to remove any market dimension?

She says it never happens, that there is always money. And that even if, as an exception, for example between sisters, this happened, one cannot appropriate the pregnancy of another and that the intended result is to attribute to oneself a child, who is the object of the transaction. It is no longer even the "third body" which is an instrument, but rather a "depersonalization", the woman who "serves" is "inhuman".

Sylviane Agacinski radically criticizes the notion of "presumed consent". She claims that this notion does not make sense. When the consent expresses the will (as in marriage), either we say "yes" or we say "no", we can not impute to you what thing like "I do not say no".

 

She advises us to look at the way in which the Germans are evolving in this matter, which does not go towards the concept of "presumed consent" but towards a completely different concept: solidarity. In this sense, it should be said that the body after death could become more available, not by liberalism but by solidarity, not for the benefit of companies but as "common good".

Thus the bodies would be "transmitted" and not "appropriate". Families could understand this, while the appropriation of bodies by others, they cannot understand, which the legal concept of "presumed consent" snatches from them which is not logical.

For Sylviane Agacinski, this notion of "post-mortem organ donation" for which there would be presumed consent is not the right way. It leads to liberalism, while the right path is that of solidarity, a path from which we are moving away. We are moving away from "humanitarian donations" because we do not expect reciprocity, while by "presumed consent" we expect indirect reciprocity in a "generalized exchange" (Mauss). It is then a question of managing a "shortage of organs", as one does on a market ....

An extract from Sylviane Agacinski's book is read, which states that if there are no laws, there will be no limit.

It effectively takes up this assertion that it is the Laws alone that can protect human beings, and if the Laws do not and if "all taboos are lifted" then everything becomes possible. It refers to Nazism which lifted the taboos and did so by law. And then everything became human material.

 

Nov. 16, 2014

Blog

On le mesure en lisant dans la presse du jour des histoires de personnes qui se réveillent à la morgue et se font entendre au fond du tiroir dans lequel on les a déjà glissées, l'acte de décès pourtant dûment rempli par le médecin.

Rappelons deux choses. En premier lieu, le droit est un système de langage, composé d'éléments artificiels, d'artéfacts. En second lieu, il établit des catégories juridiques, auxquelles il attache des régimes juridiques. A partir de là, il fonctionne en puisant dans la réalité concrète de la multiplicités des situations dont la variété est infinie : il les fait entrer dans les quelques catégories juridiques construites par la volonté du législateur, voire du juge, pour déclencher sur les réalité la puissance des régimes juridiques préétablies.

Ainsi, le mot "vivant" et le mot "mort" sont des mots juridiques, des catégories auxquelles sont attachés des régimes juridiques composés : les personnes décédées ne sont pas traitées comme les personnes vivantes. On dispose des premiers, on dresse un acte juridique public - l'acte de décès qui modifie l'état civil de la personne -, on enterre la personne, ses biens sont répartis par le mécanisme de la dévolution successorale. A l'inverse, la personne vivante va et vient, demeure maîtresse d'elle-même et de ses biens.

Il est donc essentiel de savoir si une personne est vivante ou morte. Mais qui fixe le critère du passage d'une personne de l'état d'être vivant à l'état de personne décédée ? Ce ne peut être que le droit. Pourtant, c'est une circulaire de 1968 qui a fixé cela, par référence à un élément biologique, l'état du cerveau (double encéphalogramme plat). Dans la pratique, les médecins vont plus vite : quand le coeur ne bat plus et que le corps est froid, ils informent que la personne est décédée. Le coeur et le cerveau, ce ne sont pas les mêmes organes. Le moment est différent. Il y a donc problème.

D'ailleurs, un journal relate que le 6 novembre 2014 une dame âgée dont le médecin, constatant l'arrêt de la respiration et des battements du coeur, avait signé l'acte de décès, s'est réveillée à la morgue. Certes, le cas se déroule en Pologne, mais il pourrait se passer ailleurs, tant l'image du "dernier soupir"!footnote-93 est acquise. On l'a ramenée chez elle. On évoque des poursuites pénales contre le médecin. Mais celui-ci n'a-t-il pas fait comme tous les autres ? D'ailleurs, le double encéphalogramme plat est lui-même contesté par les médecins. Pourquoi le droit l'a-t-il fait ?

C'est pour faciliter le prélèvement d'organes. On en manque tant ... Et le droit, lorsqu'il déploie son pouvoir sur la plus importante des questions pour les personnes, à savoir leur passage d'être indisponible à corps disponible, se fait en toute discrétion. Il se fait aussi à un niveau peu élevé de la hiérarchie des normes. C'est une circulaire de 1968 qui fixa la définition de la mort et c'est un texte réglementaire qui a, à travers l'article R. 1232-1 du Code de la santé publique, en déploie la définition. Ne croyons pas que le plus important soit dans la Constitution...

1None

Updated: July 31, 2013 (Initial publication: Sept. 20, 2011)

Teachings : Les Grandes Questions du Droit, semestre d'automne 2011