- Ethics and science in brazilian legal discourse (2012)
- The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 declares Brazil as a Democratic State of Law. This formally democratic legal status has been facing difficulties when it comes to its material implementation. Brazilian legal procedures are still greatly influenced by the catholic heritage from Portugal in the times of colonization, translated in the present times into a strong moral set of dogmas that still reflects upon the legal production and interpretation in the country. Recently in Brazil, a debate brought to the Supremo Tribunal Federal, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court, has evidenced the struggle between Ethics and Morality in the country’s legal scenario. The focus of the discussion was the possibility of abortion of anencephalic fetuses (in Brazil, abortion in considered a crime against life). In order to properly ground its decision, the Court invited scientists, doctors, members of feminist movements and representatives of certain religions to a public dialogue, in which both scientific-technical and purely moral-religious arguments were presented. Although these procedures encouraged and promoted a democratic and pluralistic legal debate, it seems like the crucial point of the discussion were not taken into account: the scientific character of Law. This is the object of the present manuscript: in order to ensure an intersubjective construction and application of Law, this must be perceived as an Applied Social Science and judges, lawyers, legislators and all other legal actors must proceed in a scientific way. To illustrate the theme, the specific case of abortion of anencephalic fetuses will be mentioned through the text.