writting about medically assisted death

writting about medically assisted death

Question description 

Length: 750 words



The issue of medically assisted death (aka physician-assisted suicide) has been in the news in Canada, especially with debates and decisions in the Canadian House of Commons and Senate in June of 2016. For this assignment you will read up on the issue and relevant court, senate and parliamentary decisions, and write a position paper giving your own opinion on where you stand on the assisted-end-of-life question. We will draw on these for an in-class debate on Wednesday February 15th.



  • Research: Educate yourself on the background and issues surrounding the debate in Canada, and current legal status of physician-assisted death in Canada and Nova Scotia. A good place to start is Dalhousie’s Health Law Institute’s website for End-of-Life Law & Policy in Canada: http://eol.law.dal.ca/?page_id=236 . You should also look up news stories by professional journalists on quality Canadian news websites such as the Globe and Mail, CBC News, Maclean’s, National Post, etc. (Note that for some websites, if you are not a subscriber you might only have a limited number of views on the site before it is blocked.) Your sources don’t have to be “academic” ones, but avoid sites like MSN, CNN, Huffington Post, etc.
  • Write a short summary of what the legal situation is today in Canada concerning end-of-life assistance, including the current status of Bill C-14 in Parliament.
  • Write an explanation of the positions/views both for and against doctor-assisted death. What are some of the ethical issues for society of Bill C-14?
  • Think through your own thoughts and opinions on where you stand on the issue and why. Write this up.
  • Include a bibliography of sources used, and use in-text citations or footnotes throughout. You may use either MLA or APA format.
  • Bring a paper copy to class on Feb. 15th and come prepared to share your thoughts in a class debate.

In the interest of saving paper, use 1.5 spacing, double-sided if possible, no title page and do not start a new page for your bibliography unless needed.

Marks will be given based on evidence that you can clearly:

  • Explain what the issue is, its background and current legal status in Canada, based on your own research of quality sources as noted above 4 marks
  • Explain both the ‘for’ and ‘against’ positions and the ethical and societal implications of the issue 4 marks
  • Articulate your own views on the topic (even if you aren’t completely on one side or the other), explaining the reasons for your opinions 4 marks
  • Write a well-structured paper without spelling or grammatical errors, and with properly formatted in-text citations and bibliography 3 marks



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