Why are we still talking about the Englaro decision, six years after the end of this well-known human and judicial story? The public discussion about the issues raised by the Englaro case has been wide and inter-disciplinary, but there is room for developing it further from a perspective of pragmatic argumentation. In other words, the legal literature about the Englaro case seems to be limited to analysing and evaluating the formal arguments advanced by the Court, without perceiving that the decision itself and its underpinning pragmatic arguments encapsulate a social action, oriented towards a social community. The main aim of this article is to identify this pragmatic dimension and to show how the Englaro decision is paradigmatic of an argumentative conception that tends to combine the formal theory of law with the more philosophical and sociological dimension of the case.
Keywords: Englaro, Life and death, Pragmatic argumentation, Gaps, Principles