Abortion and euthanasia are not only deeply divisive political issues in many countries - they are, as Ronald Dworkin writes, the great moral issues that bracket life in earnest (1993). The questions of when life begins, and when it may end, appeal to our moral convictions, our religious and spiritual beliefs and our cultural traditions. They also require us to think about what the role of government should be in deciding and imposing answers to moral questions. Philosophical arguments about both abortion and euthanasia range over all of these issues - our focus is on the political dimensions of these issues, although as we shall see, it is not possible to separate these completely from moral arguments. The issues we will consider include the role of the state in imposing policy where there is moral disagreement, the ways in which individual rights justify
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