Position paper on assisted dying
Position paper is for Human Rights MA. I picked Law because of the closest area I could find.
The structure of your position paper should include the following:
• A very brief outline of the debate you will be responding to (this must also be explicitly noted in the title of the position paper.
o Areas of debates should be agreed in advance with the Module Leader. (This will be co-ordinated in the main teaching sessions)
• A clear introduction, which will very briefly detail the debate at hand. It should also identify which position you will be taking and highlight what the central thesis of your argument will be. You also need to explain why there is much theoretical disagreement surrounding the debate in question.
• A comprehensive explanation of the main claims of the position you are supporting. You should also make clear what evidence/sources you are drawing on. (I.e. No bald presumptions or assumptions of fact without evidence to support.)
• Counter-argument(s) to your position.
• A critique of the counter-argument(s).
• A conclusion summarising the main ideas of your position paper.
• Debate choice: this assesses your ability to identify and engage with an important rights debate (relevant to part 1 of PO7016)
• Analysis and critical engagement: this deals with the bulk of your research and argument and focuses on how you engage critically with the data/literature, and how you articulate your own argument and that of others.
• Structure and clarity: this includes the focus on the debate and the relevance of the discussion and research, and clarity of the argument
• Evidence and accuracy: this covers the use and presentation of accurate data. It broadly relates to how you support the claims you make with evidence.
• General written expression and academic standards: this criterion deals with the quality of your writing (grammar, clarity, etc.) and with the standard of referencing and of the bibliography.
Below are some examples of ‘debate’ areas that previous PO7016 students have used. These have been provided for your reference only (and therefore, should not be copied):
• Human rights violations usually involve the state inflicting harm on, or in some way interfering with, another individual. Slavery and servitude is primarily concerned with the actions of third parties (i.e. slaveholders and slaves). Therefore, if governments are not the slaveholders, this should not be considered as a human rights issue.
• It is erroneous to limit rights to freedom of assembly and to protest.
• Social and economic rights are necessary prerequisites to the exercise of civil and political rights
• The right to an adequate standard of living is an aspirational statement of intent rather than a concrete right with a normative content.
• “At [the] level [of a rights-based approach to development], development and human rights become inseparable aspects of the same process, like two strands of the same fabric. The boundaries between human rights and development disappear, and both become conceptually and operationally inseparable parts of the same process of social change.” (Uvin, P, 2004: 175 ).
• The right to development does not constitute a distinct right, but rather a synthesis of other human rights
• In the case of indigenous peoples, human rights have to be locally grounded to be a relevant instrument of social change.
Please note that it must be a human rights debate!