[SHS:SOCIO] Humanities and Social Sciences/Sociology
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AbstractIn the first part of this contribution, I attempt to outline the parameters of the legal and judicial debate in Egypt. Following a few comments on a number of axiomatic legal principles, their role and their transfer from one legal system to another, I examine the nature of existing legal provisions and those pertaining to jurisprudence by focusing on the example provided by the notion of “therapeutic purpose”. I then extend the discussion to include the main principles of medical ethics and, more particularly, the assumption of the autonomy of the patient's will and its legal corollary, the requirement of consent. This leads me to distinguish two types of constraints that may restrain the use of this autonomy of will: autonomous constraints, that is, those pertaining to the current legal order and heteronomous constraints, i.e. those stemming from an alien normative order. In the second part of this work, following a comment on the paths followed simultaneously by individualisation and moral restraint, I seek to argue that the spread of the assertion of an autonomous “self” takes place together with the shrinking of the realm where autonomous “intimacy” is free from any legal intrusion. The paradox inherent to this growing assertion of a “pure self” and to the expansion of law into the realm of privacy is that it leads to the notion of an inalienable “inner-self” that is given no public voice. I show that privacy, when it is subjected to the legal system, becomes the object of a moral judgement in the eyes of a “virtual public opinion”. By way of conclusion, I comment on the role of morality in the shaping of public space.
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