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Should India Legalize Euthanasia or Mercy Killing?

World  (tags: Euthanasia, Mercy Killing, Legal, Law, India )

- 3114 days ago -
Euthanasia or 'Mercy Killing' is a controversial subject, not only because there are many moral dilemmas associated with it, but also in what constitutes its definition.


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. (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 12:17 am
I do not think it is right to take a life in this way... although we cannot put ourselves into their shoes.. it is difficult and a controversial subject nevertheless..

Julie van Niekerk (230)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 4:03 am
It is difficult to comment. I can understand when there is no quality of life or recovery for a patient and they want to"go". I just never want to be on "life support machines", it gives the hospital more income.

Carol H (229)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 4:35 am
noted, thanks Anna

Marilyn K (50)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 5:14 am
This decision should be completely up to the individual and their wish. People should put it in writing so that if their condition is such that they cannot communicate it wll be known what they want.

Patricia Cannell (818)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 7:38 am
I think this is a very touchy subject. That being said, I am all for it. Life is precious but it is the quality, not the quantity of life that matters. If a person is dying slowing in pain and want to end it why should there be a problem? We would do it for our suffering pets. Why not our suffering loved ones, especially if they ask for it and if they are of sound mind. I don't want to be in great pain as I await my death. Do you?

Lin Penrose (92)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 9:29 am
Noted & thanks Anna. I believe that the choice should be up to the individual, both the choice of Life or the choice of Death. Individuals are the only ones who can balance the quality of living versus the quality of not living any longer. The Being of the individual is the Only property they truly own, it is theirs and theirs alone and should be treated with respect. As Linda said, write down your wishes clearly and cover the situations that may occur. That explantation is the only true gift you can leave behind for those who care for you, to reduce their mental pain and guilt they may have. The choice is and should be yours. The morality questions of those who would have you suffer, I Question severely, and so should anyone considering death.

. (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 9:36 am
Wow, tough one. Beyond the religious aspect, it really is an individual's choice as long as you have the ability to make the decision. If you don't, who makes the call? Family? Doctors? Judges?

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 9:44 am
I am one of those who does not want to have my life prolonged if it means a great deal of suffering or being doped up all the time. What sense does that make? The only ones who win will be the hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and the doctors.

Sarah G (109)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 10:09 am
I believe that it is wrong to prolong suffering when all hope of recovery, or of living a meaningful life, is gone.

Judith K (93)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 11:35 am
Personally, I would not like to do it, but then again I have never been in such a dire position, so what do I know how constant pain could change my point of view. Leave it to the person, and do not bother them with the threat of prosecution.

Alice B (241)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 12:49 pm
India already has such wonderfully 'merciful' [sic!] practices as suttee [widows coerced into leaping onto the funeral pyre of their spouse]; wife-murder by burning unwanted wives to death after their dowry has been collected by the husband and/or his family; child prostitution [openly practiced in large scale in many areas]; and the heinous undying caste system which raises racism to higher heights within a classist context and longstanding historical/power-control imperative. So - no - I would not trust the nation of India to be "merciful" with legalized euthanasia in practice. I believe passionately in "Right to Die With Dignity" and am adamantly opposed to forcing terminal patients and others to continue living lives of pain and suffering. But when it comes to India's cultural 'track record' on the items listed above, I would say that there would be little "mercy" in an India legalized "mercy killing."

Dotti L (85)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 1:05 pm
Speaking for myself, I want someone to help me die with dignity. Just saw the movie You Don't Know Jack.
It is so very important for people to have their affairs in order. D.N.R. etc. Not fair for the family to have to make these decisions. Oh, in case you are not familiar with that movie - it is about the life of Dr. Kevorkian.

Jacob Davis (44)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 1:07 pm
I used to think that suicide and euthanasia were valid options (to escape or alleviate pain and suffering).
But I've come to understand that it is wrong: it is another form of murder, which robs the relevant life of the opportunity for creativity, experience and learning (even in human suffering).

Marjory S. (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 1:23 pm
None of us really know what the decision for one's self would be until we reach that moment. What seems also unfair, however, is for the caretaker to have to give up large segments of his/her life to care for the person who is physically unable to care for his/herself. I saw my sister give up seven years of her life to care for our mother who would not give up ten minutes of her own life to tend to her dying sister. My mother always espoused that no care be given to the elderly until she was in that place herself and then clung to a life with NO quality for seven long years sucking the life out of my sister. WHO are these people who will care for all us elderly when huge numbers of the elderly can no longer feed or clean up after themselves. Few people will even visit a nursing home much less work in one!!!!!

Nancy sands (448)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 1:46 pm

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 1:55 pm
i believe this is not right, we have not the right to suspend anybody life. this is unfear. only god can take our life.

. (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 2:09 pm
A lot of emotional torture can be eliminated if more countries would accept the concept of living wills. People who are in such pain, have no will to go on. They are kept alive because of a families selfishness. Terminally ill people know when it's time to go.

Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:09 pm
We have euthanasia for our beloved pets when they're so sick and suffering, and call it a mercy.
Why can't we extend that mercy to our loved ones when they're so sick and suffering and want to be free of their pain?
I absolutely think assisted suicide and euthanasia should be legal for people just has to be regulated and have certain criteria that must be met before it can happen.

Susan Ayres-Lynch (126)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:16 pm
Studies have shown that in countries that have legalized mercy killings/assisted suicides, the suicide rate actually drops dramatically. the theory it that once terminal patients know they have this option if things ever become unbearable, then things never really become that unbearable because the stress caused by the fear of not having the option is removed. Consequently, for most patients living with the terminal condition never actually reaches the point where they choose to opt out of life. Compare that with the people in countries where this option is not legal who kill themselves in secret leaving their families devastated and scrambling to pick up the pieces in the wakes of their losses.

Granted, there is a tremendous responsibility to define methods that are acceptable and qualifications for what conditions might qualify in order for the act to be legal, but there are enough countries that already permit the intentional ending pone's own life for the rest of the world to review and use as springboards when determining their own laws.

Susan Ayres-Lynch (126)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:22 pm
I will add that I feel about this (at this point in my life) the way I feel about abortion. While I support a woman's right to choose, I know I could never have gone through with an abortion if I had found myself in a position of considering it. I can't imagine myself wanting to end my life at any point either, but I don't presume to think that I have the right to deny someone else of that decision. Again, in the countries where euthanasia is legal, suicide rates drop.

Susan Ayres-Lynch (126)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:25 pm
@Diane: I would imagine that if you can't make the call for yourself then no one can be permitted to make it on your behalf. It must be your decision, made while you are lucid . Having a living will that states no extraordinary measures or life support is one thing, but asking another person to decide when to actively end your life is another thing entirely. Just my opinion.

Elderberry T (201)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:45 pm
Star to Alice B ...My thoughts exactly.

Christine Stewart (134)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 3:55 pm
If someone has an incurable illness and are in pain/suffering, and if there isn't any medicine to relieve their pain, then please let them end their lives peaceably.

Kate Kenner (215)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 4:52 pm
It may not be something everyone wants to do but it should be available everywhere. no one should be forced to endure pain and suffering. I know I don't want to have the end of my life spent just trying to feel as little pain as possible. there is nothing unnatural about it. Death is just the natural end of the life cycle. It is often prolonged by intervention and drugs that may do nothing to make a person feel better but just keep him/her alive.. What is natural about that?

Kara C (15)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 5:51 pm
The life expectancy of humans has risen greatly and the amount of medical care and treatment has improved to the point of people being kept alive on life support for decades even when there is no chance of recovery. At some point people should be given the choice to say no I want my pain to end or no I don't want to see my loved one lying brain damaged any longer.

Euthanasia should be legal though heavily regulated, people need the choice to refuse to suffer any longer.

Constance F (418)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 5:57 pm
I agree with those who have stated the individual should have their wish in writing to prevent the possibility of abuse. However: I recogniz there may be situations where that may not be possible. Chronic physical suffering, and watching someone you care about suffer day after day is horrendous. If there is no possible relief to the situation,supporting the individual who desires physician assisted death is the most unselfish thing you can do

. (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 6:45 pm
This isn't really about one issue - there are so many facets to it.

One is when the patient himself makes the choice at the time, while fully competent mentally. I think that choice should always be respected. His life - his death - his choice.

Another is when the patient isn't competent or conscious. Then if he has expressed those wishes either in a living will or in some other provable manner, I also think his wishes should be respected.

Another is when there's no record of what the patient wants and the patient can't express her own wishes. Then I think we just have to use common sense and compassion. If the medical situation is incurable or hopelessly chronic and the patient is suffering, I would personally vote for euthanasia - unless the patient has expressed her wishes to the contrary in some way, like in a living will. But I know that's more of a gray area.

And, of course, there's the issue of passively assisting (such as when a physician prescribes lethal drugs for the patient to take herself, which is legal in several states) or active assistance (such as a physician actually giving the drugs to the patient). I don't personally see any difference between the two, but some do.

I think what needs to happen is a requirement that every person execute a living will - and that those living wills include whether or not the person would want to be euthanized under whatever circumstances. And most importantly I think we need openness and legality to the whole process. When aid-in-dying has to happen quietly and behind closed doors, that's when abuses are more likely to occur. Because when it's legal, there can be real safeguards put in place to try and ensure that no one is coerced into ending their life prematurely.

I have always included a provision in my living will that I would prefer euthanasia under a great many circumstances, even if my condition isn't terminal. My wishes are expressed clearly and unequivocally. And I've discussed them with my family in detail. And my wishes are further buttressed by the fact that I'm a lifetime member of Compassion and Choices (the successor organization of the Hemlock Society). So I profoundly hope that my wishes will somehow be respected when the time comes if I'm unable to handle the matter myself.

Anyone who's interested can check out Compassion and Choices' website at:

They have a great deal of information about end-of-life choices, including for those who want to live out a natural lifespan but simply want better pain management. And you can get a state-specific (for the U.S.) downloadable living will free of charge.

And for those who believe in self-deliverance, there's a very useful reference work that can be found at:

It's a book entitled, "Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying." And it contains a wealth of how-to information.

Ann L (15)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 6:51 pm
I do not believe in either. Keep people as comfortable as possible and God will let us know when it is time.

Gloria H (88)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 7:17 pm
Maybe we get reincarnated, maybe not. I certainly do not want to suffer excruciating pain, nor would I want to be sick, homeless, cold and wet trying to seek shelter in doorways. If it ever came to that, I would certainly check myself out. Depression and anxiety have been with me for most of my life, and at times, death seemed to be like a friend. My animals kept me going, because who would take aged pets? I couldn't leave them.
There was a survey about 40% of seniors felt like they were going to die in debt. I wonder how many will commit suicide because of debt. We don't talk about that. if you are old, don't have shelter, not even a car to live in, no family-what is the point?

Amber M (0)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 8:17 pm
No killing in any form is wrong.

Ruadha S (6)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 8:59 pm
For those who think chosing NOT to be put on life support is "playing God"--why do you think having "everything " possible done isn't also playing god?
This should be a personal choice. I think everyone should have a Living Will filed with all drs. and family members.A Living Will defines what you want or don't want done, so everyone knows.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 9:43 pm

Danell A (15)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 10:27 pm
noted & shared

resignd Cannot remove (139)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 11:47 pm
There was so much clamor about this last summer when they were discussing a national health plan and Palin started screaming there would be death squads or something to that affect. It did get the discussion going.

There are committees in Oregon for instance who review cases when someone has decided they have no quality of life and are in pain. People should be able to be part of the decision to die when they want to die.

As a nurse I had a hard time when families and the physician decided they would passively let a patient die because a traumatic stroke left him unable to eat, communicate in any way, and totally dependent. The order was for one ounce of water every eight hours. There was nothing in writing in the chart about intent to end life. It took him nearly two weeks to die.
In Washington state, the owner of an assisted living said hospitals are giving morphine to patients in the emergency room. The Do Not Resuscitate is used to withhold treatment of treatable conditions like a urinary tract infection or upper respiratory infection. They talk with the family about their lack of quality of life, being old and a burden on the Medicare system and the family agrees with making them comfortable with a high dose of morphine. my friend said the person was active with friends having plans etc.

The DNR's must really be specific about the conditions one wants treated before not given certain medical care. Do not let forms restrict your right to be detailed.

Susan made an excellent point, that if suicide was available and a legal choice that few people might chose that.

As the population ages more states will write euthanasia laws so people will not linger so long. Costs are going to become more than the population can bear, especially while being a imperialist nation at war for years and years as they are implying. Also some people find that mom using up her resources to pay for care in costly institutions or care homes seems to have a life without meaning, and needing money to put the kid or kids through college will go along with doctors who believe in no treatment when there is a Do Not Resuscitate signed.

Having worked in nursing homes, inspected them and care for many elderly it might be a good idea to have a few pills tucked away, like a bottle of benadryl so you can make your own decision without a lot of fruhaha.

Valjean O (23)
Thursday December 9, 2010, 11:48 pm
I think it is a needed option, one that should be an available choice for an individual, especially the terminally ill.

Friday December 10, 2010, 12:52 am

Bracha Katz (31)
Friday December 10, 2010, 3:43 am
I believe that suicide is definitely not dying with dignity.

Terry B (649)
Friday December 10, 2010, 4:58 am
I did it for my suffering dog -- why should I not get the same mercy just because I am a primate and not a canid?

Colin Hope (201)
Friday December 10, 2010, 7:46 am
I think it's quite simple. If a person choice is to want to die gracefully and in dignity who are we to prolong their suffering? Will it make me feel better to see terminal ongoing suffering, I don't think so!!

Jennifer M (78)
Friday December 10, 2010, 7:56 am
It is not our choice, but the person who wants to die peacefully instead of in horrible pain. If this is someone's dying wish, who are we to say they can't have it? We have no right to make them continue to suffer because it's "immoral" or you think it's not a dignified way to go. It doesn't matter what you or I think.

pam w (139)
Friday December 10, 2010, 8:40 am
The Indians should do what is right. I wish WE had that option but, unfortunately, the religious "right" (a misnomer if there ever WAS one) wants to insert their views into our end-of-life decisions.

M B (62)
Friday December 10, 2010, 10:22 am
I'm pro euthanasia, but it's difficult to comment on a people with different culture . Think of the law of karma,
from that point of doesn't matter what I think.

Terry B (649)
Friday December 10, 2010, 11:31 am
Dignity, schmignity!

As Charlie Brown replied when Lucy asked if he was afraid of a little pain, "You bet I am. Pain hurts!"

Ana F (128)
Sunday December 12, 2010, 3:51 am

Past Member (0)
Monday December 13, 2010, 9:26 pm
noted...and there is an easy way to avoid all the issues of this...the individual who does not want heroic measures taken should always prepare the legal documents necessary and it takes the decision out of everyone else's hands and keeps it in the hands of those it directly for humane and necessary...i believe it is..if you love someone and watch such horrendous suffering when no hope is possible...then it is why are we willing and able to make sure our animals don't suffer from disease or other such tragedies, but we want our beloved humans to go through that suffering??? but it is a personal choice and i think that any law should read that if someone want this done, then they must have the legal documents that specify how, what, and when...they can even specify the number and type of doctors needed to certify...that takes the decisions away from family, friends and works...and if you think that this has no dignity..please visit an end of life cancer wing...where patients have no hope and are suffering before they die...from what i've observed...there is no real dignity in this type of suffering before death....a visit might change your might not...but it might give you some understanding of those who support euthanasia....

pulse N (23)
Sunday May 22, 2011, 9:55 pm
If I am in a critical condition I would prefer Euthanasia - I do not want to trouble any of my family members
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