This article discusses the limits that bioethics must set to state legislation regulating the behaviour to be adopted in situations concerning the life and death of human beings. Obviously, before these limits can be identified, the concept of life and of death must first be defined from both a philosophical and a legal standpoint. In democratic, secular states, the law must respect the free choices made by individuals in areas that involve nothing but the human being’s individual dimension. It therefore follows that, since life and death are specifically subjective and individual dimensions, with respect to which the community is obliged to stop and listen to the opinion of the individual in question, rather than draw up imperatives, the law must map out spaces for freedom of choice, within which each individual may find the defence necessary for his or her last wishes to be complied with. In human culture, the distinction between natural and artificial is meaningless, as cultural creativity produces artificiality, in a process that is natural for the human being. There are therefore no objective parameters for indicating natural choices in bioethics, but every vision is possible, every ethical position is deserving of respect. There can be no heteronomy in bioethics, but only the autonomy of each individual, which also obliges scientific research to remain free of all and any restriction of a superstitious, religious or political nature and to be limited exclusively by the equal freedom of choice of all human beings.
Keywords: Bioethics, Life, Death, Autonomy