Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Special Section: The Many Voices of Spanish Bioethics

Euthanasia, Philosophy, and the Law: A Jurist’s View from Madrid


In societies with an established system of rights, human dignity occupies the vertex of the moral statute. Freedom and equality are specific derivations of that higher value. Taking freedom and equality seriously necessarily means articulating a system of rights that places at its apex the value that unifies both: human dignity.

Francisco Javier Ansuátegui Roig, J.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy of Law and Director of Postgraduate Education at the Instituto de Derechos Humanos Bartolome de las Casas, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain.


This work is part of Proyecto Consolider-Ingenio 2010 “El tiempo de los derechos,” CSD2008-0007.

Translated from the Spanish original by Pablo Rodríguez del Pozo and Joseph J. Fins.