Tuesday, Aug 22nd

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GD: Should Euthanasia be allowed or not?

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Euthanasia means “mercy-killing”. It refers to the practice of ending a person’s life in order to relieve him/her from pain and sufferings. The candidate must be well prepared with the exact meaning and the existing laws for Euthanasia prevailing in various countries.

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Points in Favor

  • The points in favor mostly deal with humanitarian aspects. As per Medical Ethics, the exact definition of euthanasia is "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering." For critically ill patients like patients in last stages of cancer who are undergoing tremendous pain, it should be done, since the pain is really unbearable and even the chances of recovery are also very dim.
  • Also in people who are terminally ill and who can't afford to pay the high hospital charges that will leave their families financially broken forever and that too when in all probabilities their dear one is not going to get well, it is better that euthanasia be done so as to save the misery of the relatives who can't pay high medical bills. The pain which he undergoes every moment of his life and the even more painful death that waits for him, isn't it better liberate his soul from that prison of pain and sufferings and let him die in peace.

Points Against

  • It is easy to flow with emotions on this topic, but many issues about Euthanasia need to be addressed, most importantly the point on how easily this freedom can be misused. Considering it deals with an individual’s life, the issue becomes even more sensitive. Strict laws need to be defined for conditions when Euthanasia can be granted to an individual. Without a proper legal and medical framework pertaining to Euthanasia being in place, this must not be allowed.
  • One should realize that there is not much difference in Euthanasia and suicide, except the fact that former is assisted and the later is self-inflicted.
  • With medical science progressing every day, it is quite possible that at any time a drug may come that may cure the person from his/her illness. In such a case, allowing Euthanasia will be disastrous.

Conclusion:

For human race, allowing Euthanasia is just faintly different from suicide. The decision on whether a case qualifies for Euthanasia must not be taken at local doctor’s level. The matter is sensitive and hence, if at all we allow this, the decisions related to it should be taken by Government or a centralized committee and that too after we have a proper medico-legal framework in place.

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