L'autonomia "irrazionale": interventi sul corpo e integrità fisica nel dibattito multiculturale

Anno L, n. 213, maggio-agosto 2015
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


In order to understand the limits and the liberties entailed in the right to health in the multicultural society, it is necessary to pay attention to the different ideas of health belonging to minority ethnic groups. In particular, the essay focuses on bodily interventions and on the limits of self-determination, determined by the partially conflicting value of bodily integrity. The aim is to evaluate whether the bodily integrity argument, adopted to motivate the opposition to female genital mutilation, can be considered a valid argument, especially in reason of the common and legal acceptance of other bodily interventions, such as genital plastic surgery, that damage the bodily integrity of the individual as well. Recognizing the principle of self-determination as the prerequisite of the fundamental right to health, considered as the protection not only of the biological body, but also of the psychological well-being, it has to be ascertained if the concept of bodily integrity can be universally accepted or if, on the contrary, it is a culturally oriented body construction.