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Human Dignity in Canadian Law and Society

by Penninga, Mark

Words have power. One word –dignity– has been at the centre of two of Canada’s most controversial Supreme Court cases. Arguing for a woman’s dignity, the Court struck down our abortion law back in 1988. Not long after, the concept of dignity played an important role in deciding whether a terminally ill woman named Sue Rodriguez could be legally killed by her physician. Even today, euthanasia advocates argue for a so-called “death with dignity.” It seems that everybody wants dignity. But who has it and what does it really mean to possess it? The answer to these questions is crucial for making decisions about the role of law in regard to issues such as abortion, human trafficking, embryonic stem-cell research, and physician assisted suicide. Classical, modern, and postmodern accounts of dignity all fall short in providing a philosophically sound moral foundation for human worth. And yet our Supreme Court relies on these weak accounts to ground universal human rights. But there is another option. It requires opening up our Bibles. Does Western Society dare see where this will lead? The book deals with subjects that include: abortion, physician assisted suicide and euthanasia, equality rights, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Classical, modern, and postmodern philosophies of dignity, a Christian account of human dignity, and the place of a Christian account in secular law.

Paperback, 131 pages, Notes, biography.

USD 14.95 / CAD 14.95

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