The issue of euthanasia in India resurfaced when a woman from Noida filed a petition to prevent her friend from travelling to Switzerland to receive physician-assisted death. However, the woman withdrew the case later, claiming she didn’t want to hurt her friend.
Deliberately ending someone’s life, largely to relieve pain and suffering, is a difficult process, involving many factors, especially ethical, religious, and personal beliefs. It also includes local laws and the person’s physical and mental health. Patriot talks to the various sections of society about what they think.
Civil and human rights activist
Many argue that the ability to decide one’s own death weakens the sanctity of life. Yet, in the Indian ethos, we have men/women who have made choices to follow a process to choose the time, place and date of their death, albeit in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
Euthanasia is a complex process and involves weighing many factors, like local laws, the person’s physical and mental health and their personal beliefs. Doctors’ oaths and family members’ love and bond with the person concerned both come under sharp focus if a decision is to be made. Why does a person who makes a conscious decision to end their life, after demonstrating they understand the issue and giving their informed consent, or those who may be in a vegetative state, in terminal pain and suffering, pay the price for moral reasons? So, what about personal choice… death with dignity?
The decision of euthanasia is totally up to the consent of the patient, as we can only imagine his sufferings. We understand that for a parent, it is difficult to understand the state of distress and dependency of their child.
But loss and grief are a part of life. Someday or the other, everybody has to go through the unfortunate, and if there is a way to put an end to someone’s suffering, it’s their decision. We can only accept the sad reality.
Though there are many contentions and opinions on the said topic, according to me, euthanasia, in any sense, should not be recognized in our country. For many reasons, such as religious beliefs, in our country where a diversity of various cultures is present, the notion of euthanasia can be misused.
Moreover, in cases related to property succession and family disputes, cold-blooded relatives can easily cause death and again, the concept can be used for so-called trivial family issues. Further, many people do not consider female birth to be good, they are still living in their patriarchal mindset where women have not been given any position. Here also, the concept of euthanasia can be misused by some. As law-abiding citizens of this country, we should respect the reasoning of the bench of the Supreme Court of India.
I firmly believe that everyone should have the option to decide whether or not to live their lives. And just as the dignity of the right to life is honoured, so too should the right to choose death, as has happened in recent cases.
Team Leader Vegease
I’ve seen patients begging to let go of their tortuous lives. They should also be given the choice and relief that they desire. But legalizing euthanasia can be misused as well; so there should be proper provisions and rules that relieve people’s misery.
State Coordinator, MoSJE
I am sceptical about euthanasia due to the country’s weak rule of law regarding this issue and the large gap between the rich and the poor. Legalising it might lead to the exploitation of the elderly by their families as they are considered a burden to the family. It can also be misused to take property, money, or because of animosity among family members.