Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Article excerpt

The featured article, by legal history scholar Bradford William Short, J.D., LL.M., is his thesis in partial satisfaction of requirements for his Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University Law School. In it he completes a study that he foreshadowed in his previous articles published in Issues in Law & Medicine.

The Western moral theory of the inalienable right to life and liberty was supported by many political philosophers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Those philosophers and their theory shaped much of the thought of the men who made the Thirteenth Amendment a part of the Constitution. The inalienable right to life and liberty is inconsistent with all forms of slavery, and by logical extension, suicide and assisted-suicide. This article analyzes the historical evidence in answer to the question of whether this theory of the inalienable right to life and liberty was part of the original intent of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and whether there is any historical evidence to support the anti-suicide implication of the Thirteenth Amendment. The author concludes that there is no historical evidence to support the anti-suicide implication of the Thirteenth Amendment and that the question of a right to suicide was not part of the framers' and ratifiers' original intent. …

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