La sentenza della Corte europea di giustizia del 18 ottobre 2011 e la nozione di embrione in senso ampio

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


The article deals with the European Court of Justice’s decision on October 18th 2011 (C-34/10, Brüstle vs Greepeace e. V.) and it shows importance, limits and desirable consequences of it. Three explanatory issues regarding the article no. 6 of the directive on the legal protection of biothecnological inventions are object of this decision. The most important among them concerns with the notion of human embryo. The Court states that: “any human ovum after fertilization, any non-fertilized human ovum into which the cell has been transplanted and any non-fertilized human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis, constitute a human embryo”. Therefore, procedures using human embryos or which implies the destruction of human embryos are not patentable. The contest of the decision concerns exactly patent field and the point no. 31 states: “It must be borne in mind, further, that the meaning and scope of terms for which European Union law provides no definition must be determined by considering, inter alia, the contest in which they occur and the purposes of the rules of which they form part”. Despite of this clear limit, the decision is positive beyond patent matter. The ethical judgment could not be ignored outside patent field, involving the European research programs too: economic incentives should not be allocated for those researches that destroy human embryos. On the other hand, research on adult human stem cells should be implemented. Finally, after the Treaty of Lisbon, we should consider the possible influence on the European Court of Human Rights.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] The judgment of the European Court of Justice of 18 October 2011 and the notion of embryo in the broad sense
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)777-801
Numero di pagine25
RivistaMedicina e Morale
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • biodiritto
  • human embryo


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