Mercy Killing - Views
The topic never quite got me around to understanding what was really meant till the day am back to Chennai today speaking to one of my Uncle's who have been most instrumental in plugging my life together. Not just my life, he was a professor for physics in St.Stephens (New Delhi), the various students who have passed from under him to achieve not just distinctions but true glory. meeting him at this fragile moment where everybody is reminiscing of the beautiful past days made a tear come to my soulless eyes..
A person who commands respect not just from his peers but from any person even remotely linked with him. A person who I have never seen in the past 22 years as immobile just sitting on the couch for the last few weeks cause of damn 'Cancer'; the pain just won’t let him lie and sleep. And when he put this in his will to add this as law to put mercy killings as legal had his students from top niches of legal department come forth and explain. The actual law followed in the country says that "in case of mercy killing the family of the person is found guilty, for them the feeling is that the person was forced to take the decision".
The government just makes it hard. But for once i agree with them; even though this being a heartless statement for someone who saw the pain in his eyes for the 3+ hours spent with him today am just sorry!!!
There is nothing wrong in legalizing mercy killing. But in a country like ours where every law is misused, chances are that a law legalizing mercy killing will be highly misused. There can be any a loopholes in such a law. Also many a innocent lives would be taken in the name of mercy killing. Mercy killing should be legalized in our country like Netherlands because it would only prevent a person suffering any further. Persons leading a vegetable existence cause misery to their families too. In terms of medicine, mercy killing should be allowed when a person is already brain dead or heart dead and in both the instances the person would only mean a liability to his family bearing the bills of a hospital for an uncertain period of time. Mercy killing should not be legalized because no one has the right to take some ones life. Secondly everyone is born with his share of suffering and euthanasia will only increase it rather than reducing it. people who are suffering from any incurable disease should be allowed to die their natural death rather than mercy killing.
Death is not the solution for any misery or suffering in life, but the attitude, self belief & confidence towards life is the answer for every difficulty. The question here is "whether mercy killing should be legalized", a person should look within himself before answering the above question & ask his own heart-"what is life & what does it mean to him & what he wants from his life". And a real answer of a human heart should be "challenges and difficulties as these things do not let you down but make you competent enough to rise up to the occasion when it calls for."
The legalization for mercy killing is in itself a negative approach towards life, which should not be encouraged, this will lead to a scenario where in any person who is unable or not willing to fight with the conditions & challenges of life would ask for mercy killing. Legally speaking it is true that right to life do not include right to death as per article 21 of the constitution of India, as every right should be looked in a prospective manner & not in a retrospective manner & here the legalization of the mercy killing asks for the same. A person on life support would have died had they not been put on life support, so removing it would simply cause a death that would have happened anyway. If anything, putting someone on life support prolongs their life, so that you can find a way to cure them or to fix whatever is wrong with them. If you can't, and if they're stuck on life support, without brain function, the most humane thing to do is to take them off life support. Of course, it helps when people have living wills and designate loved ones to take such decisions for them, in the event that something like that does happen, and doctors should defer to the patients' wishes in that respect, but as a principle, agree with it. That being said, for terminal illnesses like extremely advanced cancer,the patient has the right to ask for a quick death. A doctor's responsibility is, ultimately, to alleviate a patient's pain. If the patient is alert and knows the consequences of the action, then the doctor should be allowed to give him or her quick death. The only problem is drawing a line between killing a patient who can be cured and killing a patient who would have suffered greatly before dying.
Some people say, "There is a hope if one keeps his or her life going," but you should know there is a case where living itself is torture. In short, we have the right of deciding whether we should live or die, and mercy killing is also one of the ways to carry out our decision. Governments should not prohibit mercy killing. That we give quiet death to a person who holds unbearable suffering and begs for his or her peaceful death is also one form of mercy. A person has to be able to make a conscious decision - that would eliminate others making that decision for you and the lines being blurred.
There here are people who are unable to make a conscious decision for themselves as they may have deteriorated due to brain cancer or something just as horrible. In this case the decision should be made by a group of people, including those closest to the person - not just a few so called experts. But if a person's quality of life has deteriorated and they are in pain and they have to be constantly medicated to relieve that pain and suffering then say Yes.
When a person is terminally ill , mercy killing is one of the best solution that scientists have found out. There are several reasons for this. One that such a patient need not be in a position to explain his/her agony. And the predicament of having to deal with it is rather unwarranted in an age when we are moving towards designing genes for the unborn. I believe that this agony can be averted by using mercy killing. The treatment of a terminally ill patient is rather traumatizing on the emotional as well as financial fronts. I know our society doesn’t see an ill family member as a burden. But practically speaking things are the other way round. And if the patient himself feels so is it any unfair to provide him a solution of mercy killing? There are negative sides also. For example Mercy killing can be misused by people with intentions of inheriting family properties but in all those cases the ethics and the doctor's consent should have a major role to play. The solution to this lies in empowering the doctors to say Yes or No to the practice for a person.
Mercy Killing is a strange concept. Though it goes against the natural laws still some countries have legalized it.
There are, though, some problems in legalizing things like these. For example -
1. The Constitution of India gives every one Right to life and liberty u/a 21. Now, this means the state only guarantees this right. They are not giving the right because the right has been given to us by nature or God. If they haven't given us the right, they can't take it. So this triggers an academic debate. State is the protector of the right given by nature. How can state direct us to take our lives?
2. In Indian Penal Code, attempt to suicide is an offence and is actually punishable with jail term (I don't recall the section now). If that be so, in case the right is granted to us and someone tries to kill himself he can be booked under IPC and will have to face prison time. Even though no one can be compelled to give incriminating evidence against himself his act and intention will be sufficient evidence to establish the case.
So, we have to amend our Constitution and IPC first and then perhaps we can take this discussing further. Also, if go and start amending the Constitution there comes another problem. The problem is - 'Keshvananda Bharti v Union of India" or the "Basic Structure Case". It can be a very strong argument that Art. 21 is basic structure of Constitution and it can't be tampered with. If that be accepted we can never introduce Mercy Killing in India.
These are some of the academic questions. There are some other practical considerations in a country like India. Power like this will most certainly be misused by people. And there are enough smart lawyers in India to turn Mercy Killing into a defense for Culpable Homicide and Murder.
So, I think before introducing the concept of Mercy Killing - a big debate needs to be started - academic as well as practical.
But in my humble opinion, Mercy Killing should be kept away from our Country.
India as a whole has a weak medical system. Majority of patients die due to negligence and god knows what all reasons. It would be sensible on our part to not compare ourselves with Switzerland and Netherlands cause the amount of funds being diverted to medical grounds in these two countries is beyond us. Practically there is no such thing as 'drawing the line' in our country, although that is exactly how things are being worked out in other nations. Legalizing it is not going to anything but a Legal Excuse, for criminals to get rid of witnesses, for doctors to discharge themselves of negligence and many more things. So until our system is through fighting with the most basic things needed to make a country progress we should keep away from such sensitive issues because India has bigger problems than things like euthanasia.
Fight against what nature gives you??
Don't think this will apply when it’s accompanied by intense pain, debilitation, burden on family and other such factors which make life hell for a person. There is a dentist's gas which when taken in high enough doses kills you in very good manner. As in the person who's inhaled the gas feels very good and high.let us consider a hypothetical case in which Miss X is suffering from aids. It is a suffering endured by nature. The medication is very expensive and unaffordable. Now all she can do is wait for a lingering death which is coming slowly but steadily. I think a better option for her would be voluntary death or mercy killing instead of suffering natural sufferings..
A person thinks of suicide when he loses all his hope to live. We can consider mercy killing also as a particular case of suicidal tendency. Take a hypothetical case of a person 'A' who is affected by a disease which resulted in paralysis of the whole body. Now he has lost his hope to live and requests for a mercy killing. But his state of mind of not to live can be changed by proper counseling or proper care done by his relatives etc
Its a term or a procedure that is availed to the kin of the suffering member to use it.And never has merciful killing been done immediately and the doctors wait on months together with the patients and until and unless the situation beyond a miracle things are administered this way...
Now the second situation is put in where the patients suffering are quite unbearable and no hope at all but to receive a painful and suffering death. I mean the patient is already suffering hell and is waiting for death and believe hope at this point is just too silly and immature until and unless you are the person suffering or the doctor working on that person; Miracles don’t happen; Metaphysics exists but only to explain the past and not the future or the present.
I don’t think that any person in this world has committed that much sin to have such a painful death? Cancer unlike heart attack is suffering from the beginning and it is really quintessential to administer and consider this option of merciful killing when the situation goes beyond repair or imagination.
In my view as a modern cosmopolitan I would like to conclude that the act of merciful killing is for the very essence to end suffering and is very merciful and should be administered with great caution and only when all the options of certain existence or survival is all but lost