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Euthanasia – A boon or a bane?

Euthanasia is a concept that means taking away someone’s life in order to provide them freedom from pain or irreparable problems and situations. In more simpler forms it can be said that when a person suffers through unbearable pain or suffering or some disease that can’t be cured. It can also be called as assisted suicide and ending someone’s life through medical and legal assistance.

However, every country and every nation has different tolerance policy towards euthanasia. Because it engages with the right of someone’s life and ending it or sparing it, a lot of countries have zero tolerance against euthanasia and treats it as murder. However, there are some countries that do allow a legal and voluntary euthanasia, if the concerned party and the individual is in total agreement, then and only then the whole procedure of euthanasia can take place.

The word ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek word ‘eu’ that means ‘good’ and ‘thanatos’ that means ‘death’. So, in over all the meaning of euthanasia is to relieve someone of constant, unbearable and intolerable pain and suffering and giving them death that does them good.

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Generally, euthanasia is a concept a lot of people not know about and the other half that does know what it is, prefer to not talk about it in a deep and completely understanding way. Hence, there are always a lot of misconceptions and other things that comes in the way of understanding euthanasia in the most appropriate ways.

Types Of Euthanasia

So, now that we understand what euthanasia is, let’s read further to know what are the various types of euthanasia that are in existence as of today.

  1. Voluntary Euthanasia: It’s simply a process of taking away the life by the full consent and the agreement of the patient in the name. If a patient is not okay with ending their life then voluntary euthanasia cannot take place.
  2. Involuntary Euthanasia: very simply put, involuntary euthanasia is taking away the patient’s life without his or her consent or without letting them know about ending their life. Involuntary euthanasia can very easily be alternated with murder because it goes on without consent and the agreement of the patient.
  3. Active Euthanasia: It is also known as ‘aggressive euthanasia’ where the patient is injected or given a dose of very lethal drug or medicine that will instantly put the concerned patients to their last breath.
  4. Passive Euthanasia: When a patient is intentionally removed from all the life withholding support like ventilator or feeding tube and the important life sustaining drugs are not given to them, then that is called passive Euthanasia. It basically is to intentionally let a patient die.
  5. Assisted Euthanasia: Lastly, there’s assisted euthanasia where the patient administers himself with a lethal dose or is administered by a physician in the presence of the legal authorities and most likely a family member.

Above where a the types of euthanasia that are happening and that exists and can be studied in a more researched manner once it stops getting treated as a taboo.

Supreme Court’s Verdict On Euthanasia In India

On March 9, 2018 the supreme court passed the verdict to make passive euthanasia legal in India. However, the whole process should be done in a very legalised manner in the presence of a strict legal assistance or physician with the complete and utmost agreement and consent of the concerned patient.

The court also issued the verdict that the patient should have to be in a vegetative state or a permanent damaged case to apply for the plea to be euthanized. The who verdict on the passive euthanasia that the court issued was because of the case of Aruna Shanbaug  which was plead in the court by Pinki Virani.

Aruna Shanbaug Case

This is the case of the year 1973 when Aruna Shanbaug was a nurse who used to work in the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. One day she was attacked and sodomized by the hospital’s sweeper and while she was being attacked the chain was tightly wrung around her neck causing her to suffer the deprivation of the oxygen and ever since after that she was in a vegetative state.

Hence, her friend Pinki Virani brought the plea to the court to let the doctors euthanize her in order to have a life and death of dignity. However, the doctors were not in the favour of euthanizing the patient Aruna and hence, the court simply rejected Pinki Virani’s plea.

After being in coma for about 42 years, Aruna Shanbaug died of Pneumonia on 18th may, 2015.

Euthanasia – Boon Or Bane

There has always been a lot of controversial debate on whether Euthanasia is actually a good death or it is as equal as murder. However, if it’s seen as the point where a person can’t really do anything with his life or is suffering from insufferable and intolerable pain then what is the point of keeping them alive when it causes them nothing but pain and torture.

Then comes the point where taking away the right to someone’s life who is nothing but innocent might on one hand be against some morals. But if it’s understood closely, it should always be the patient’s choice for the way they want their life to be and to end.

So, it depends on how and what is the approach of every individual regarding the concept of Euthanasia. There are debates where it has been proved that it is not ethical it then there are also debates where it is considered Ethical, only and only after the patient’s consent. Hence, it clearly depends on you to decide if Euthanasia is a boon or a bane.

Can euthanizing a person and taking away their life intentionally be the  means to end their sufferings or even after we know that the patient is being tormented, killing them would still be a bigger crime. It’s upto you. Everyone has the right to have an opinion. So what’s yours going to be? – A boon or a bane?

Muskan Agarwal
Muskan Agarwal
Muskan is a psychology and philosophy student at Ravenshaw University. She is passionate about reading novels and has always been interested in writing blogs.


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