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Unit 2: Criminal Law

CHAPTER 5: THE CRIMINAL CODE

E-ACTIVITY: EUTHANASIA (p. 133)

Activity: Debate the Issue of Euthanasia

Mercy killing. Assisted suicide. The right to life. Dying with dignity.

When Canadians debate euthanasia, all these concepts arise in the discussion. Euthanasia is a morally complex issue, and many Canadians hold very strong views about it. Should individuals be able to take control of their own dying process? Would legalizing euthanasia mean that people with disabilities would be pressured to end their lives?

Euthanasia is not legal in Canada. The Criminal Code still includes section 214, which makes it criminal to aid or assist a suicide. Some Canadians believe that we should decriminalize euthanasia. Others believe the law should stand.

In this activity, you will participate in a class debate about euthanasia. Specifically, you will argue for or against the following resolution:

Be it resolved that euthanasia be legalized in Canada.

The catch is that as you conduct your research you will not know which side of the debate you will be arguing. Therefore, you will have to find arguments to support both sides of the issue.

  1. Visit the following Web sites to find supporting arguments for both sides of the euthanasia issue.

  2. Copy the following argument sheet into your notebook, and use it to list the arguments you identified in Question 1 both for and against the statement, "Be it resolved that euthanasia be legalized in Canada."
ARGUMENT SHEET FOR THE EUTHANASIA DEBATE
Be it resolved that Euthanasia be legalized in Canada
PROS

CONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Your teacher will assign which side of the debate you will argue. The side you will argue may not be one with which you personally agree. In that case you must set aside your personal convictions for the duration of the exercise. After receiving your assignment, plan your strategy and prepare for the debate. Your debate should include the following:

    • a formal introduction
    • facts and arguments that support your assigned view
    • anticipation of the points against your view
    • counterarguments to defend your viewpoint
    • a statement that summarizes your position
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