Publications of Kristina Orfali

The Concept of Human Dignity as the Foundation of Rights in the Hungarian Biomedical Law

Human dignity has a prominent role in the Hungarian Constitution. The concept of human dignity and its interpretations play an important role both in the field of bioethics and in the Hungarian law. On different levels of the Hungarian law human dignity serves as a basic pillar for the legal provisions. Reference to human dignity provides especially important arguments in the debates on euthanasia by emphasizing the right to self-determination of the terminally ill. In the debates both on the risks of emerging technologies and on the protection of vulnerable groups, such as children and psychiatric patients, human dignity plays an essential role in protecting people who are not yet or no longer fully able to exercise their right to self-determination.

Basic pillars of legal thinking on the human body in the Hungarian medical law: dignity, self-determination and the principle of noncommodification

For many centuries, the human body has been treated as one with the person by virtue of a legal fiction. However, for some time now, biotechnological progress has enabled us to disassociate the two. Indeed, we live in an age where the body has become an object of scientific enquiry, its parts transplanted into another’s body, or considered merely as biological material for use by others. As a result, what we can do with the body and its parts has become increasingly important for society, and its protection becomes a central concern. It is this concern which is examined in this book through the study of seventeen different jurisdictions, and their respective cultures. Several issues are examined here: in all the countries studied, how is the human body distinguished from the person herself? Does the law protect the body, and if so, to what degree? Is an individual under a duty to protect her own body? What legal principles have been adopted in order to ensure that the body is protected? Do the principles reveal a common philosophical approach or are they rather the result of cultural diversity? If the principles are violated, what recourse does the individual have? At the heart of this book is the exploration of how the human body in all its states, living or dead, is confronted by biomedical progress as witnessed by the twenty-two contributions from an international and multidisciplinary perspective. Law, anthropology, philosophy, ethics and sociology all have a take on the subject. The comparative nature of the work draws together lawyers from Europe, North and South America, North Africa, Turkey and Japan. Such a legal journey, interspersed with other disciplinary analyses, will enable the reader not only to understand how different laws treat the human body, but also to appreciate the fundamental values which underpin how the human body is protected in a variety of countries and cultures.

Sándor J. La dignité humaine, fondement des droits en Hongrie. In: Feuillet-Liger B, Orfali K, editors. La dignité de la personne: quelles réalités? Brussels: Bruylant; 2016. p. 157-71.

Reconciling traditional families with in vitro assistance: The Hungarian Legal Framework on Kinship in the Light of Biomedical Intervention

“If there is no humanity without language, nor can there be a society without parenthood. But what does it mean to be a parent?” This question from Claude Levi-Strauss is at the heart of this international and multidisciplinary study analysing the upheavals to legal family ties currently being brought about by biomedicine. As a result of the heady advances in new biomedical practices, a number of questions concerning parenthood need to be addressed. Who will be the legal father and mother of a child when infertile men and women are able to procreate? Will the child still have two parents of different sexes, or could it sometimes have three, or even four? What about the emergence of the concept of parenting and of the role of DNA testing in determining parentage? Legal experts, philosophers and sociologists from twenty countries with different cultures debated these issues, among many others, during the fifth workshop of the Réseau universitaire International de Bioéthique (RUIB – International University Network on Bioethics). Stemming from these debates, the articles brought together in this collection explore the extent to which new biomedical practices have revolutionised access to parenthood in these countries. There can be no doubt that because this topic touches on sexuality, the body and reproduction – different concepts in different cultures – one conclusion stands out: although the life sciences have now won, at least in part, control of the imparting of life, the effects of biomedicine on the legal structure of the family differs considerably from one country to the next. A rapprochement between the various systems studied would be most welcome.

Sándor J. Demographic Influences on the Regulation of the Female Body in Hungary . In: Feuillet-Liger B, Orfali K, Callus T, editors. The Female Body: A Journey Through law, Culture and Medicine . Bruylant: Brussels; 2013. p. 115-31.

Demographic Influences on the Regulation of the Female Body in Hungary

Object of fascination and fantasy, the female body can be idealized, reified or shrouded. "It is we who make women what they are worth and that is why they are worthless", proclaimed Mirabeau in the days of the Enlightenment, to which Aragon later replied: "Woman is the future of Man". The ambiguities of the female body are therein exposed. This work examines the relationship between the female body and biomedicine. Many possibilities are offered to women through biomedical techniques: from assistance to procreate (with assisted reproduction) to refusal to do so (contraception, voluntary sterilization, termination of pregnancy); to be informed of genetic predispositions (through the use of available genetic tests); or to improve their physical appearance with cosmetic surgery. But a recurrent question arises: with its rapid progress and its extreme medicalization of the body, can biomedicine liberate women? Or rather, given the risks of the commodification of the body or its parts, is it not a source of exploitation ? The authors of this work, jurists, anthropologists, philosophers, sociologists and doctors, have explored these questions. The contributions from nineteen countries in this international multidisciplinary study analyse the reality of the amazing developments of biomedicine on the female body. Numerous systems are compared for the first time; European, African, North and South American, but also Chinese and Japanese. Beyond highlighting differences, and identifying similarities in the development of "enhancement medicine", the objective of this work is ultimately to show the complexity surrounding the question of a woman's freedom over her body and the extent to which this is limited by the State.