In the name of having a right to a life of quality, should we not refuse life to a being for whom nothing but suffering or handicap is foreseen?

The greatest threat to health is the threat of losing life itself. We simply cannot identify human life and the quality of life. These two notions are not even on the same level, somewhat as democracy and the qualities (or defects) of democracy are not on the same level. We are in a democratic regime or we are, for example, in a totalitarian regime. The fact that one is in a democratic regime does not prevent such a regime from having defects. These defects must be combatted, but the worst way of rectifying them is to destroy the democracy itself.

All the same, if an infant is handicapped or an old man is bedridden, they always live a human existence. Their infirmity brings no intrinsic modification to this basic given.

This means the rights of man are inherent in the human being because he lives a human existence. This human character is clearly inscribed in his body: human existence involves a corporeal dimension that is essential to it. To speak of the physical or psychological qualities of this man makes no sense except relative to this existence. Relative to means that we cannot speak of qualities except in relationship to a real existence, dependent on it.

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