Thursday, 10 March, 2011

Euthanasia–Legalized killing or a long overdue blessing?


Euthanasia is a tough call. I can just imagine the dilemma that the Supreme Court was forced with with the recent Aruna case. In a country where suicide is a criminal offence, is it possible to legalize Euthanasia? And if it is, how does one draw the line between them?

Personally, I agree that these need to be evaluated on a case to case basis. In the case of Aruna, I don’t agree with the verdict. Having been sexually assaulted and throttled with a chain 37 years back by a janitor in the hospital where she worked, she has spent the past 4 decades in a vegetative state. Being cared of by the staff of the same hospital, I believe she has become more of a trophy that they believe they have a right or moral duty to keep alive. But how does one define keeping alive? Just because her lungs can still breathe and her heart still beat, is she justified in her indignity? Isn’t another few decades of not being able to move, communicate or express far worse a punishment than what Euthanasia may be?

It’s a tough call. Can be argued either ways. Especially in a country where poverty is high and medical expenses can urge many to opt for the same instead of spending life savings down a road of no recovery. But in that case, hand in hand with a relook at the Euthanasia laws, our courts also need to relook at the healthcare programs provided by the govt. They need to formulate schemes where such patients may be taken care of by giving subsidised aid so that the decision of the family to move the courts for Euthanasia is not built on lack of funds but rather on a ground of compassion for the dignity of the individual. 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

cannot even begin to imagine what she must 'wake' upto everyday. how could the courts not see that if one made a good case for euthanasia it is her. on the other hand how did that sohanlal get away with this by just doing 7 yrs! both times the justice system has failed her.

Harnoor said...

Agree on both the counts....he should have been given a sentance to be in jail till she remains in a vegetative state...little solace but some sort of justice I guess!!

sajeevkmenon said...

I believe that all depends on the strength of the case. No one would love to live a life of endless pain or in a vegetative state. But making it a law also allows some to abuse it.

Anonymous said...

Human euthanasia parallels two other kinds of legalized killing, and all three are potentially "convenience" homicides. Are most abortions carried out to protect a mother's life because she has a medical condition and might not survive childbirth, or are they done because a child's birth would create an inconvenience for the mother and others affected? Similarly, the self-defense laws of states like Florida and Texas "protect" citizens from prosecution and lawsuit if they merely claim they killed someone in self-defense. But there are numerous documented cases where these laws were applied when a shoot or die situation did not actually exist (see a new book, Legalized Killing: The Darker Side of the Castle Laws). Just ask the convicts over in cell-block five; most of them can give you a perfectly good reason for having to kill someone. Euthanasia of a hopelessly vegetative person may sound good on paper, but don't overlook the temptation to include a few fully sentient individuals: "Well, she's 91, can't walk and is costing Medicaid a mint..." or "These people will bankrupt the Medicare system." If that's where you want to go, good luck. But be aware that you might be a victim someday.