Ethical dilemmas of law (death penalty, abortion and euthanasia) in the light of public opinion surveys

Małgorzata Stefaniuk

Abstract


The present study comprises three selected ethical dilemmas of law but regarded as the most fundamental: death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia. What they have in common is a close relationship with the legal protection of the life of every human being as provided for in Art. 38, the Republic of Poland’s Constitution of 2 April 1997. The general character of the constitutional provisions caused these highly controversial issues to be left for ordinary legislation to address and for public debate, which was intensified in recent years. Public opinion polls concerning the issues in question show that in Poland supporters of the death penalty still outnumber its opponents. Opinions on the admissibility of abortion and euthanasia are divided almost in the literal sense of the word, the differences between the supporters and opponents of these kinds of behavior being negligible. It can, however, be observed that the number of abortion opponents is increasing, which may prove that the 1993 regulation successfully played an educational role, gradually strengthening the value of the protection of life, including that of conceived children. The practice of taking into consideration the influence of the public opinion on the content of
legislation, arising from the principle of the democratic state ruled by law, requires that the legal awareness of Polish society be constantly improved.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2013.19.0.309
Data publikacji: 2015-07-12 03:05:21
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-07-07 23:56:03


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