Toronto Metropolitan University
Kobewka_Rya.pdf (700.09 kB)

Exploring the language of death with dignity: a comparative and critical content analysis of Canadian news editorials

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posted on 2021-05-24, 13:27 authored by Rya Kobewka
My major research paper (MRP) focuses on the language and arguments used in the debate surrounding medically assisted dying. This paper was interested specifically in how arguments are framed, and if arguments have changed regarding medically assisted dying in the past twenty years. My central research questions are: what are the arguments on both sides of the debate used in news editorials? And if the arguments changed – how did they change? To answer these questions I compared two case studies: (1) Sue Rodriguez and (2) Gloria Taylor. To compare the two cases I analyzed the editorial pages and online comments of major Canadian newspapers. I used key words in context (KWIC) to identify frames and arguments used. Six frames emerged: medically assisted dying legal (ML), medically assisted dying medical (MM), medically assisted dying moral (MMM), pro-life legal (PLL), pro-life medical (PLM), and pro-life moral (PLM). The frames in support of medically assisted dying were used more than double the amount that pro-life frames were used; they were also used more frequently in 2012 than they had been in 1994. Further, there fewer overall KWICs used in 2012, but they were used correctly more often than in 1994. These findings suggest that the act of medically assisted dying is better understood and defined, and that it seems to have more support now than it did twenty years ago.





  • Master of Professional Communication


  • Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP