Fundamental Rights Concerning Biomedicine in the Constitutional Treaty and Their Effect on the Diverse Legal Systems of Member States
By Atina Krajewska
The Constitutional Treaty was thought to address the new challenges occurring in front of the enlarged Europe in relation to the rapidly changing international political, economic, social and cultural circumstances. In this respect, the problem of the new quality of the European Union is being repeatedly disputed. If the EU is to be something more than an arrangement for inter-state cooperation, the Union has to be able to act rationally on a collective basis, in a way that different interests or preferences will give priority to seeking agreement over self-interest maximization. The question of whether the EU envisaged in the Constitutional Treaty represents a deeper form of integration can be answered by examining its ability to achieve consensus on conflicting issues and to form a common will about how to solve common problems. The field in which the most controversies arise nowadays is that of biotechnology and biomedicine.
Through the decoding of the human genome and development of biotechnologies we gain control over processes, which until now seemed to be uncontrollable and unforeseeable. The "line between the chance and the choice, forming the basis of our value system is shifting". This change is marked by great ambivalence. On the one hand, the advance of biological sciences carries a promise of benefit to humans, since combined efforts of reproduction medicine and genetic engineering open up the prospect of gene-modifying interventions for therapeutic goals. On the other hand, modern genetics enables the cloning of human beings and gene manipulations, which may lead us to eugenic practices – entirely discredited in the course of the 20th century. This prospect casts a peculiar...