韩大元:生命权与其他权利冲突及其整合 - 第一单元:人权价值观与抗击新冠疫情 - 中国人权网

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韩大元:生命权与其他权利冲突及其整合

2020-06-01 19:10:40来源:中国人权网

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长江学者、中国人民大学人权研究中心主任韩大元教授(网络会议视频截图)

  2020年5月30日下午,由中国人权研究会指导、华中科技大学人权法律研究院主办的“疫情防控中的中西方人权观比较”国际视频研讨会召开。会议采取现场和网络相结合的形式,来自联合国人权高专办、联合国人权高专办驻几内亚办事处、奥地利、荷兰、英国、巴基斯坦、尼泊尔和中国等国家和地区的40余名人权专家、官员参加了线上研讨。长江学者、中国人民大学人权研究中心主任韩大元教授在”第一单元:人权价值观与抗击新冠疫情“上作题为《生命权与其他权利冲突及其整合》的发言。

生命权与其他权利冲突及其整合

(发言提纲)

韩大元

  当前,全人类正经历着一个世纪以来最深刻的全球疫情,人类正面临着严峻的挑战,人们对全球未来的不确定性充满着不安、困惑与担忧。

  人类文明史告诉我们,越是经历严峻的挑战与艰难的选择,人类需要分享共同价值,回归人性的力量,点亮生命的光辉,凝聚社会共识,共同应对全球面临的挑战。越是这个时候,国际社会要珍惜生命共同体,强化人类命运共同体意识。因为有尊严的生命的存在才是建构人类生命共同体的前提。无论各国采取何种防疫措施,但在生命的保护上应采取共同的立场。

  一、生命权的宪法意义

  世间万物,生命最可贵。生命作为人之为人存在的逻辑前提,集中体现人的价值与尊严。生命尊严是人类对生命现象存在的诠释。生命的存在是人类文明存在的基础,文明的进步以生命的诞生与延续为基础。

  生命至上(The highest idea of life)就是指生命价值高于一切,生命是万物的尺度,在世界上没有比生命更为宝贵的存在。生命至上包含着五个要素:生命的神圣性;生命的符号性;生命的珍贵性;生命的必然性以及生命的脆弱性。同时,生命至上既包含着活着的生命,同时包含着逝者生命的尊重。

  生命权的宪法要素主要包括:生命权的自然性,生命权表明人类生存的自然意义上的权利;生命权的主体性,即在任何情况下国家不能把人的生命权作为国家实现目的的手段;生命权的防御性,即生命权的本质是对一切侵害生命的行为的防御;生命权的平等性,所有生命人的生命价值是平等的,不能进行差别对待;生命权的请求性,即生命权受到侵害时公民有权向国家提出保护的请求,以得到必要的救济:生命权的不可重复性。由于生命权是人的尊严的基础和一切权利的出发点,个体的生命权同时具有社会共同体价值秩序的性质。对个体生命权的侵害,同时也是对宪法秩序价值的侵害。生命一旦受到侵害,无法恢复其价值。因此,从宪法学意义上讲,生命权与其他基本权利不同,具有不可重复性。

  二、生命权与自由权冲突

  本质上,生命权具有绝对性价值,既体现共同体存在的最高价值,同时也承载着自由的实现。但在现代社会,生命权价值与自由权价值并不处于平衡状态之中,有时出现冲突。这次全球的疫情告诉我们,生命权与自由权之间发生冲突时基于何种宪法哲学与道德准则保护生命的价值?如何保障生命权的优先性?

  生命权与自由权的价值冲突主要体现在,生命权与人身自由、生命权与宗教信仰自由、生命权与隐私权、生命权与财产权、生命权与表达自由以及生命权与工作自由等。其中,最突出的冲突体现为生命权与人身自由、尊严权以及宗教信仰自由。

  面对不分国界的疫情,各国不得不采取最严厉的防控措施,包括颁布紧急状态,发布居家令,限制人身自由、宗教信仰自由、游行示威自由以及就业的自由等。

  生命权与宗教信仰自由之间的冲突也是大家关注的话题。宗教信仰自由是一个内心的精神自由。但是,在疫情面前,宗教信仰的自由、宗教活动受限制,这时我们要平衡两种不同价值,个体的宗教信仰自由固然重要,但是为了保护宗教信仰者的健康和生命和他人的生命,我们不得不限制宗教信仰自由。

  三、生命权优先于自由权的宪法逻辑

  生命权之间平等保护是国家的宪法义务。生命权是人类最基本的人权,这是《世界人权宣言》和国际人权公约所确认和保障的原则。生命无价,生命平等,生命尊严等话语与理念体现在防疫抗疫的具体实践之中。如在中国,在疫情中从刚刚出生的婴儿到100多岁的老年人,在生命价值上是平等的,国家在拯救生命上一视同仁,体现了生命的平等。

  生命权与尊严权之间如何选择价值位阶?生命与尊严体现人类的基本价值,但两者发生冲突时,我们需要选择生命,而不是尊严。因为生命是尊严的基础,生命中已融入尊严价值,保护生命实际上保护着人的尊严。

  生命权保护与国家经济发展发生冲突时,如何平衡两者价值?我认为,应优先保护生命的价值,经济发展是可以牺牲的。面对病毒,国家需要平衡各种利益,包括国家投入、经济发展等。我们选择宁可放慢经济发展速度,宁可承受经济下滑压力,但国家应选择拯救每个生命,不惜一切代价,平等保护面临病毒威胁的生命,让人们感受生命的神圣与尊严。

  生命权价值优先也意味着国家履行免费医疗的义务。当生命权与自由发生冲突时,要选择生命至上、生命权优先的价值目标,要做到不计成本的投入。在中国武汉,为挽救一位70多岁的老人生命,国家前后治疗三个月,总共治疗费用140多万,全部由国家兜底。

  生命权与自由价值的冲突中,东西方需要相互学习,寻求优先保护生命的共识。通过这次疫情,西方国家需要重新认识文化的多元主义,对非西方国家处理社会与个人关系的制度,以及团体主义价值进行深思,包括社会保障制度、国家安全与基本权利限制的比例原则等。

  生命权与自由价值的平衡要建立在比例原则的合理运用。生命与自由同等重要,但无法平衡时,我们只能选择生命作为优先的价值,并以比例原则寻求合理的道德基础。

  四、生命权与自由权平衡:宪法共识

  为了回应“后疫情时代”人权发展的趋势,我们需要做好理论准备,特别是致力于构建尊重生命的文化。

  要把尊重生命转化为宪法共识,在全社会树立“生命至上”的理念,切实尊重生命权的价值,不能漠视生命的意义。把敬畏生命作为一切公权力运行的政治伦理,让人们感受法律对生命权的关怀。

  要把预防为主作为生命权保护的基本形式,改变满足于事后究责、事后救济的传统思维,使生命的维护具有合理预期。在风险社会,科技迅速发展的今天,侵害生命的各种风险仍然存在,我们需要有效的预防的措施与制度。
加强生命权问题的跨学科研究,制定生命伦理的标准,捍卫人的尊严,防止科技面前人类被边缘化。

  理性地看待现代科学技术的发展。通过疫情,我们看到的人性的光辉,我们是靠人性的力量战胜了疫情;科技在疫情防控中也起到作用,但我们不能盲目崇拜科技,不能扩大科技的作用。

  关怀每个人的生命价值,敬畏生命应成为社会的主流价值,也应成为人类的生活方式。生命至上承载着历史、体现着文明价值,也预示着人们的合理期待。

  在“后疫情时代”,我们要认真对待生命价值,防止把生命价值工具化、庸俗化,构建尊重生命的人类文化。


The Conflict Between the Right to Life and the Right to Freedom and Their Value Integration

(Speech Outline)

Han Da Yuan
 
At present, what the human race is going through is the most serious global COVID-19 pandemic in a century.Facing these severe challenges, people are full of unease, confusion, and worry about the uncertainty of the global future.

The history of human civilization tells us that the more severe challenges and difficult choices we are facing, we human beings need to share common values, return to the power of human nature, light up the glory of life, forge social consensus, and work together against the global challenges. At the urgent time, the international community should cherish the community of life and strengthen the awareness of building a community with a shared future for mankind, of which the existence of dignified life is the premise. No matter what epidemic prevention and control measures are taken by all countries, we should take a common position on the protection of life.

Ⅰ. Constitutional Meaning of The right to life

Nothing is more precious than people’s lives in the world. As the logical premise of the existence of humans, people’s lives embody human value and human dignity. And human dignity is the interpretation of the existence of lives. The existence of lives is the basis of that of human The existence of lives is the basis of that of human civilization, and the progress of civilization is based on the human birth and continuation of lives.

The highest idea of life means that the value of life is above all else, and life is the yardstick of all things, which means there is nothing more precious than life in the world. The highest idea of life contains five elements: the sanctity of life; the symbolism of life; the preciousness of life; the inevitability of life and the fragility of life. The highest idea of life contains not only the importance of the living ones but also respect for the life of the deceased.

The constitutional elements of the right to life include: the naturalness of the right to life, which refers to that the right to life indicates the natural right to human existence; the subjectivity of the right to life, that is, the state cannot take the right to life as a means for the country to achieve its goal under any circumstances; the defensive in nature of the right to life, that is, the essence of the right to life is the defense against all acts infringing upon life; the equality of the right to life, which means that the life value of all people is equal and can not be treated differently; the request of the right to life, that is, when the right to life is violated, citizens have the right to make a request for protection to the state, in order to get the necessary relief; and the non-repeatability of the right to life, because the right to life is the basis of human dignity and the starting point of all rights, the individual’s right to life also has the nature of the value order of the social community. The infringement of the individual’s right to life is also the infringement of the value of the constitutional order. Once life is violated, its value cannot be restored.Therefore, in the sense of constitutional jurisprudence, the right to life is distinct from other basic rights and can not be endowed again.

II. The Conflict Between the Right to Life and the Right to Freedom

In essence, the human right to life has absolute value, which not only reflects the highest value of the existence of the community, but also bears the realization of its freedom. However, in modern society, the value of the right to life and the value of the right to freedom is not in balance, and sometimes there are conflicts. This global pandemic tells us what constitutional philosophy and moral norms are used to protect the value of life when there is a conflict between them. How to secure the priority of the right to life?

The value conflicts between the right to life and the right to freedom are mainly underlying in the right to life and personal freedom, the right to life and freedom of religious belief, the right to life and privacy, the right to life and property right, the right to life and freedom of expression, and the right to life and freedom of work, etc.. Among them, the most prominent conflicts are the right to life and personal freedom, the right to dignity and the freedom of religious belief.

In the face of the global COVID-19 that does not respect borders, countries have to take the most stringent prevention and control measures which include the declaration of a state of emergency, the issuance of household orders, restrictions on personal freedom, freedom of religious belief, freedom of demonstration and freedom of employment.

The conflict between the right to life and freedom of religious belief is also a topic of concern. We all need to know that freedom of religious belief is inner spiritual freedom. However, in the face of the global epidemic, freedom of religious belief and religious activities are restricted, and this time we have to balance these two different values. Individual freedom of religious belief is important, but in order to protect the health and lives of faithful believers and the lives of others, we have to restrict freedom of religious belief.

III. The Constitutional Logic -- the Right to Life Above the Right to Freedom

The equal protection of the right to life is the constitutional obligation of the state. The right to life is the most basic human right of mankind, which is a principle recognized and guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Human Rights Conventions. Words and ideas such as “lives are priceless, lives are equal and lives have dignity” are reflected in the concrete measures of pandemic prevention and resistance. For example, in China, no matter he is a newborn baby or he is over 100 years old, the value of their lives is equal.And our country treats lives equally during the pandemic, which reflects the equality of life.

How to choose the value rank between the right to life and the right to dignity? Lives and dignity embody the basic values of human beings, but when there are conflicts between them, lives are over dignity. As life is the basis of dignity, the value of dignity has been incorporated into lives, and the protection of lives is actually the protection of human dignity.

When it comes to the conflict between the protection of the right to life and the national economic development, in order to give priority to the protection of the value of life, economic development can be sacrificed. In the face of COVID-19, the country needs to balance its related interests, including national investment, economic development, and so on. We choose to slow down the speed of economic development and bear the pressure of economic downturn, but the country should choose to save every life, equally protect lives threatened by the virus at all costs, and let people feel the sanctity and dignity of life.

The priority of the value of the right to life also means that the state fulfills the obligation of providing free medical care. When there is a conflict between the right to life and freedom, the value goal of the supremacy of life and the priority of the right to life should be chosen, regardless of cost. In China, in order to save the life of an old man in his 70s, he has been treated for three months, with a total cost of more than 1.4 million that is all covered by the state.

In the conflict between the right to life and the value of freedom, the Eastern and the Western countries need to learn from each other and seek a consensus to give priority to the protection of life. After this pandemic, Western countries need to re-recognize cultural pluralism and think deeply about the system of dealing with social and individual relations as well as the value of collectivism in non-Western countries, including the social security system, the principle of proportionality between national security and the limitation of basic rights, and so on.

The balance between the right to life and the value of freedom should be based on the rational application of the principle of proportionality. Life is as important as freedom, but when there is no balance, we can only choose life as the priority value and seek a reasonable moral basis abiding by the principle of proportionality.

IV. The Balance Between the Right to Life and the Right to Freedom -- Constitutional Consensus

In order to respond to the development trend of human rights in the post-COVID-19 era, we need to make theoretical preparations, especially to build a culture of respect for life.

We should turn respect for life into a constitutional consensus, establish the concept of “nothing is more precious than people’s lives” in the whole society, earnestly respect the value of the right to life, and should not ignore the meaning of life. And we should also regard the reverence for life as the political ethics of the operation of all public rights to make people feel the legitimate concern for the right to life.

It is necessary to take prevention as the basic form of the protection of the right to life, and change the habitual thinking of being satisfied with ex post facto responsibility and relief, so as to make the maintenance of life have reasonable expectations. In the risk society, with the rapid advance of science and technology, various risks of infringing on life still exist, and we need effective prevention measures and systems.

Strengthening interdisciplinary research on the right to life and formulating bioethical standards need to be urgently implemented to defend human dignity and prevent human beings from being marginalized in the face of science and technology.

Treat the development of modern science and technology rationally. After going through COVID-19, we have seen the brilliance of humanity and we have defeated the virus by the power of humanity. There is no doubt that science and technology also play a role in the prevention and control of COVID-19, but we cannot blindly worship science and technology or expand the role of science and technology.

Caring for the value of everyone’s life and being in awe of life should become the mainstream value of society and also the way of life of human beings. The supremacy of life not only carries history and embodies the value of civilization, but also indicates people’s reasonable expectations.

In the post-COVID-19 era, we should take the value of life seriously, prevent the value of life from being instrumentalized and vulgarized, and build a human culture that human lives are respected.


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