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Corte Europea dei Diritti dell'Uomo - Costa e Pavan c. Italia: accesso alla DGP e malattie genetiche
28 agosto 2012

La seconda Sezione della Corte Europea dei Diritti dell'Uomo ha dichiarato all'unanimità che il divieto di accedere alla diagnosi preimpianto imposto alle coppie portatrici di malattie geneticamernte trasmissibili dalla legge 40/2004 in materia di procreazione medicalmente assistita contrasta con l'articolo 8 della CEDU.

ric. n. 54270/10

La Corte ha riconosciuto da un lato l'incorenza sistematica del divieto, a fronte della possibilità di avere successivamente accesso all'interruzione volontaria di gravidanza, ai sensi della legge 194/1978; per altro verso, la Corte ha qualificato come sproprozionata l'interferenza della legge 40 con l'esercizio da parte della coppia del diritto al rispetto della propria vita familliare garantito dall'articolo 8 CEDU.

Di seguito un estratto del comunicato stampa con cui la Corte ha dato notizia della decisione:

"Decision of the Court

Article 8
The Court considered that the applicants’ desire to resort to medically-assisted procreation and PID in order to have a baby that did not suffer from cystic fibrosis was a form of expression of their private and family life that fell within the scope of Article 8. The fact that the law did not allow them to proceed in this manner therefore amounted to an interference with their right to respect for their private and family life which was “in accordance with the law” and pursued the legitimate aims of protecting morals and the rights and freedoms of others. 

The Italian Government justified this interference by the need to protect the health of the mother and child and the dignity and freedom of conscience of the medical professions, and to avoid the risk of eugenic abuses. The Court observed first of all that the notions of “embryo” and “child” must not be confused. It could not see how, in the event that the foetus proved to have the disease, a medically-assisted abortion could be reconciled with the Government’s justifications, considering, among other things, the consequences of such a procedure for both the foetus and the parents, particularly the mother.

The Court stressed the difference between this case, which concerned PID and homologous insemination6, and that of S.H. v. Austria7, which concerned access to donor insemination. Furthermore, although the question of access to PID raised delicate issues of a moral and ethical nature, the legislative choices made by Parliament in the matter did not elude the Court’s supervision. The Court noted that of the 32 Council of Europe member States whose legislation it examined, PID was only prohibited in Italy, Austria and Switzerland (regulated access to PID was currently being examined in Switzerland).
The Court observed that the inconsistency in Italian law – prohibiting the implantation of only those embryos which were healthy, but authorising the abortion of foetuses which showed symptoms of the disease – left the applicants only one choice, which brought anxiety and suffering: starting a pregnancy by natural means and terminating it if prenatal tests showed the foetus to have the disease. The Court accordingly considered that the interference with the applicants’ right to respect for their private and family life was disproportionate, in breach of Article 8.

Article 14
Discrimination, within the meaning of Article 14, meant treating persons in similar situations differently without an objective and reasonable justification. Here the Court noted that, where access to PID was concerned, couples in which the man was infected with a sexually transmissible disease were not treated differently to the applicants, as the prohibition applied to all categories of people. This part of the application was therefore rejected as being manifestly ill-founded.

Just satisfaction (Article 41)
The court held that Italy was to pay the applicants 15,000 euros (EUR) in respect of nonpecuniary damage and EUR 2,500 in respect of costs and expenses".

CLICCARE QUI per leggere il testo (disponibile solo in lingua francese) della sentenza (fonte: Qui una traduzione in italiano a cura del Ministero di Giustizia.

QUI un commento di Simone Penasa (The Italian Law on assisted reproductive technologies n. 40 of 2004 facing the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights: the case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy), pubblicato in Revista de Derecho y Genoma Humano/Law and the Human Genome Review, n. 37, 2012, pp. 155-178.

La Corte, l'11 febbraio 2013, ha bocciato il ricorso presentato dal Governo italiano avverso questa decisione.

Pubblicato il: Martedì, 28 Agosto 2012 - Ultima modifica: Mercoledì, 28 Agosto 2019
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