Article 2 - Right to life

Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law...

What does this right mean?

The right to life is an absolute right which means that there is a duty on the state/public authorities not to take away anyone’s life and a duty to take reasonable steps to protect life.

When could this right be relevant?

  • Deaths through negligence

  • Severe malnutrition

  • Decisions about life saving healthcare treatment

  • End of life issues

  • Suicide.

Story example of Article 2 issue

Tom has been a long-term carer for his partner, Claire. Tom suffers from bipolar disorder and has admitted to suicidal thoughts when he feels very depressed. During a period of respite care at a care home Tom attempts to take Claire’s life and then uses the window blind cord to take his own life. The couple’s grown up children are angry that the staff in the home did not take better care to supervise 24 hours and minimise the risk of harm.