The country seems to be amidst a debate on euthanasia as a right to die with dignity for terminally sick. Mercy killing, as euthanasia is commonly known in India, is a long standing debate on whether to legalize it or not.
If one goes by the arguments in the social media, there is general
feeling among urban populace that euthanasia should be legalized in
India to relieve the terminally sick patient suffering from incurable
disease and his or her family from unbearable pain and misery. "It is
solution for those who has no chance of recovery from an incurable
disease and who are on life support system to die with dignity. It is
better to die in a moment than dying every moment," argues Gajendra
Singh Rathore on an on-line debate on euthanasia.
Generally, euthanasia pertains to conscious and intentional ending of a
life in order to relieve intractable suffering and pain through medical
intervention. Those, who advocate euthanasia to end intractable
suffering, argue that individual have a right to self-determination or
autonomy regarding life and euthanasia is a better choice than continue
to suffer a terminal illness. Moreover, in the countries where
euthanasia has been legalized, it has created no problems and hassles.
In the countries where euthanasia is legalized, physician would act
directly by giving a lethal injection, to end the patient's life who has
requested so for a relief for intractable suffering. It is held that
the lethal injection is a pain medication in order to relieve suffering
along with hastening of death.
The pro-assisted dying activists advocate that if a patient has an
incurable and painful disease, instead of making him or her to vegetate
through life support system, he or she should be assisted to end life.
In common parlance euthanasia is also called mercy killing or medically
On the other hand, those who are against euthanasia argue for the
sanctity of life and morality. They believe that euthanasia is a
criminal homicide despite the request made by the patient who is
intractably suffering. It is seen as a physician-assisted suicide and a
According to a good majority of my neighbourhood friends, when a
patient suffers from an unalterable prolonged illness, it is both an
acute suffering both for the patient and the kin at the emotional and
economical levels. They feel that that legalizing euthanasia is required
in India with due considerations for medical ethics and pre-condition
of expressed desire of terminally sick person.
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