The human right to suicide under international law

Aaron Fellmeth, Nourin Abourahma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Suicide is amajor global public health problem, but rarely is the subject viewed as a human right. With the sole exception of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), no international authority has taken a strong position on whether a human right to suicide exists. Even that court's jurisprudence goes no further than intimating that such a right falls within the scope of the human right to private life. This essay tackles the question of whether there is a human right to suicide under existing international law and, if so, what are its sources and limits. It concludes with an analysis of what obligations, both negative and positive, a right to suicide would impose on the state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-670
Number of pages30
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • assisted suicide
  • human rights
  • right to life
  • right to privacy
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The human right to suicide under international law'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this