Euthanasia in India

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Suicide Pages: 11 (3809 words) Published: November 6, 2012
Euthanasia means mercy killing, it is a modern terminology to the word ‘moksha.’ It is derived from Greek words ‘eu’ meaning good or well and ‘thanatos’ meaning death. In the case, M.S.Dabal vs. State of Maharashtra the supreme court held that -:“Mercy killing is nothing but homicide, whatever the circumstances in which it is affected. Unless it is specifically accepted it cannot be offences. Indian Penal Code further punishes not only abetment of homicide, but also abetment of suicide” When a person is suffering from an ailment from a very long time which has no cure and that person is given the permission to end his life in order to relieve pain and suffering is called ‘Euthanasia.’ For a common man, when life becomes far more painful and unbearable than death, then it is very normal for him to desire death. Euthanasia is also termed as ‘dayamaran’. Some people as the great saints or heroic persons embrace ‘echchamaran’ or willful death, when they feel that they have achieved the purpose of their lives. There are different types of voluntary deaths in our country like the ‘sati’, ‘johars’, ‘samadhi’, ‘prayopaveshan’ (starving to death) etc.

Euthanasia is categorised in different types-:
1. Voluntary
2. Non-voluntary
3. Involuntary
Then its further devided into
1. Passive euthanasia
2. Active euthanasia

1.voluntary euthanasia-: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed. 2. non-voluntary euthanasia-: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. 3. involuntary euthanasia-: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary. 4. passive euthanasia-: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water. 5. active euthanasia-: Intentionally causing a person's death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection. But, there is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done. Thus, some medical actions that are often labeled "passive euthanasia" are no form of euthanasia, since the intention to take life is lacking. These acts include not commencing treatment that would not provide a benefit to the patient, withdrawing treatment that has been shown to be ineffective, too burdensome or is unwanted, and the giving of high doses of pain-killers that may endanger life, when they have been shown to be necessary. All those are part of good medical practice, endorsed by law, when they are properly carried out. Voluntary death from the historical and philosophical perspective-:

Hinduism and Buddhism allow prayopaveshan since it is a non violent, calm and much time taking way of ending life and it occurs by starving oneself to death at the right time, i.e. - when the person has achieved his aims in life and finished performing all the duties and responsibilities that were assigned to him and his body becomes a burden. Prayopaveshan is for people who are content with their lives. While on the other hand, suicide is a sudden act and associated with the feelings of anger, frustration, depression, i.e. - people who are not content with their lives have a tendency to commit suicide which is why it is not allowed by any of these religions. Though there is a division of views regarding euthanasia in Buddhism, the most common view is that voluntary euthanasia should not be permitted. Again there are two views of Hinduism regarding euthanasia which are contradictory, one is supporting euthanasia as a moral deed and another is considering euthanasia as a bad deed which disturbs the life and death cycle.

Ancient Indian philosophical tradition also justifies the idea of a man willing his own death. As per Hindu mythology Lord Rama and his brothers took ‘jal samadhi’ in River Saryu near Ayodhya. Ancient Indian history also tells that Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavir attained death by seeking it. Jainism gives...
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