On the Puzzling Death of the Sanctity-of-Life Argument

Argumentation 34 (1):55-81 (2020)
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The passage of time influences the content of the law and therefore also the validity of legal arguments. This is true even for charter-arguments, despite the widely held view that constitutional law is made to last. In this paper, I investigate the reason why the sanctity-of life argument against physician assisted suicide lost its validity between the Supreme Court decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia in 1993 and Carter v. Canada in 2015. I suggest that a rhetorical approach to argument evaluation is the best basis for a satisfying explanation.



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Katharina Stevens
University of Lethbridge

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Law’s Empire.Ronald Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Justice for hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Natural law and natural rights.John Finnis - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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