PHILO106-18A(NET & NTG)
Length: This essay should be about 1,500-1,600 words long.
Question: Choose one of the following two prompts:
1. Is euthanasia morally permissible? Be sure to clearly state and justify your
position, and to refer to the arguments in the readings for week 5.
2. Is abortion morally permissible? Be sure to clearly state and justify your
position, and to refer to the arguments in the readings for week 7.
Submission and collection: The essay is to be submitted through Moodle before
5pm Friday May 4th. Look for the submission link near the top of the Moodle site.
You will receive an email to your Moodle-registered email account when your essays
have been marked. You can view your comments on Moodle via your gradebook.
Additional instructions: By asking whether something is morally permissible,
this question is asking you about the moral and social acceptability of the activity.
Please do not discuss existing laws in New Zealand or in other countries. Focus
instead on what exactly (in relation to euthanasia or abortion) should be permitted
and why. It is common to argue for a nuanced position, in other words, the moral
permissibility of euthanasia or abortion, but only when certain criteria are met. Be
sure to make it clear exactly what you are arguing for.
In answering this question, make use of the material provided in the readings. For
these topics, you might think you know what your lecturer or tutor’s opinions are.
Please do not think you are encouraged to agree with the teaching staff. You will be
evaluated for the quality of your arguments, not the position you choose to defend.
You should argue for the position that you want to defend. Be sure to consider
arguments on each side of the issue, rather than focussing solely on a single
argument that is favourable to your position. As always, we want to know what you
think, not simply that you can remember what we have told you. To show us this, you
will need to give moral arguments in support of your position. Make explicit to the
reader the moral principle or principles upon which your argument rests, as well as
the moral principles which support any theory you are explaining or arguing against.
Remember, you are trying to rationally persuade the reader that your position is the
correct one, so make sure that the entire text of your essay serves this purpose.
You may want to write an essay plan before you start. This is a good idea because it
can help ensure that you know what you will be arguing for, and how you intend to
go about it. This is not assessed, but will help you have a clear idea of what your essay
will look like, before you begin writing it. A guide to this follows:
1. What is your essay topic? (Obvious, right? Euthanasia or Abortion)
2. Are you going to focus on a particular part of this topic? You might want to focus
on a particular case study, or deliberately answer only part of the question. Explain
your intentions. (1- 2 sentences. For examp...