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Vo v. France [GC], judgment of 8 July 2004, no. 53924/00, 41, 62-64, 70, 84 .

Facts: the applicant attended a medical examination scheduled during her pregnancy. Due to a mix-up caused with another woman who had the same surname, the doctor who examined the applicant pierced her amniotic sac, making a therapeutic abortion necessary. The doctor was charged with unintentional injury but the French Court of Cassation did not find an offence of involuntary homicide.

Complaint: the applicant claimed that the French authorities' refusal to classify the unintentional killing of her unborn child as involuntary homicide was a violation of the right to life guaranteed by article 2 of the European Convention.

Holding: member states had to decide when the right to life began and it was not up to the ECHR to answer the question whether the unborn child was a person for the purposes of Article 2 of the Convention. It also stated that even if Article 2 was applicable in the case, there had been no violation of article 2.

 

 

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