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Euthanasia: A Question of Morals, Mercy and Justice

Submitted by on August 23, 2013 – 5:31 PM

iStock_000017422600XSmallThe family of a man who is in coma has waited for two years, loaning and investing on a person who is half dead. They are just not paying and crying but they are making him suffer badly. Is that right?  Most people say it’s a crime no matter what you say in your defense.


Oxford dictionary defines euthanasia as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable disease. The words suffering, pain, irreversible and incurable depict and delineate the dire conditions and prospects of a patient. Euthanasia is acknowledged as “mercy killing” for a reason. It is the most humane, moral and logical form of the treatment available to the patients who have no hope of recovery.


Living life in nuisance is hardly a life anyone would want to live and forcing this life upon someone is an immoral and insensate thing to do. Someone has said when you can’t live a good way and can’t participate openly then you should end yourself at once. Keeping a person alive knowing that it won’t end the misery is hard for the family and for the society. Apart from the miserable pain that the patients endure, the trauma and the emotional havoc their relatives go through is also immense.


This also makes the patient feel guilty and responsible to some extent. Sometimes, this guilt causes them to commit suicide. Some people don’t have money and for them it’s hard to keep their loved ones in the hospitals and so, they call for help and get involved in debts which are never fulfilled. This causes a burden on them and even on the doctors as they know that the patient won’t survive and is half dead but they have to check on him and keep a bed reserved for him.


Logically, it’s right to follow euthanasia. Individually, everyone has a liberty and a right which also includes the right to end their lives under exceptional circumstances. Respecting others’ wishes is what we should do as a human being. But the other side of the picture altogether contradicts and dissents with euthanasia.


Psychologically, religiously and according to the laws set by most countries, euthanasia is a crime and it’s not justified. So, why do people oppose it? In most of the religions, ending life is viewed as suicide, which in turn, is conceived as one of the highest forms of sin. Secondly, legalizing euthanasia would cause vulnerable people further into the pressure to terminate their lives.


In most countries, people with AIDS are totally abandoned by their parents, brothers and sisters and by their lovers. In that case, they see death as the only substitute to end their misery. Others turn up the debate by putting up a slogan, which states “Don’t let the doctors play as Gods.”


Different anti-euthanasia views have several grounds for suggesting it as illegal and immoral. As doctors, we have to consider the demands of our patients and handle such kinds of situations with empathy. But at the end, it is a choice that we all have to make for ourselves.


About the Author: Rida Jawed is a fourth year medical student at Dow Medical College, interested in specialty of Emergency Medicine. She can be contacted at [email protected]

About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2013

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