Euthanasia : Ethical? or Execrable? — Part II

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Euthanasia is mostly performed by giving a lethal injection or pain-relieving pills. As shown in the movie, “You Don’t Know Jack”, the plastic bag suffocation method (patient is drugged first) and carbon monoxide gassing methods are also used. Pro-Euthanasia people argue that by legalizing full-fledged euthanasia (by injection), the use of plastic bags and carbon monoxide will be automatically stopped. In the case of terminally ill patients, modern technology prolongs their lives for few days by inducing drugs, relieving some of their pain and conscious enough to interact with the family. However, the medicine cannot alleviate the majority of patient’s pain and these are used by advocators to legalize voluntary assisted suicide.

The rational thoughts of scientific society and the faith of religious society have always clashed with one another. In the case of Euthanasia, both these societies remain united. The religious people argue that ‘Men should not play God’ and ‘Life is sacred’; Doctors’ fear that if euthanasia is allowed, vulnerable people will be put under pressure to end their lives; A family with a sick elderly person might see them as a burden. Family’s negligence might instigate suffering old men/women to consider ‘euthanasia.’ The opponents also fiercely believe that it is impossible to create a regulatory system for euthanasia.

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Euthanasia is currently legalized in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. US States – Washington, Oregon, Montana and Vermont has legalized assisted suicide. In India, government does not favor bringing in a law on mercy killings. Recently, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said that “The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is not in favor of enacting the Bill. There is no proposal under consideration at this stage for making law on this subject.”

Death isn’t similar to Birth. It takes time. Even our loved ones would find it hard, if it looks like, it’s going to go longer. In the cases of involuntary euthanasia, we don’t know where legality stops and selfishness begins. Nevertheless, there is no point in staging wondrous medical methods to perversely prolong the dying rather than the living. Euthanasia is a taboo subject. The arguments discussed here might only provide a glimpse into the controversial debate of “dying with dignity.” And, arguments are necessary, since we are dealing with life.

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