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Sarita Vijayakumar Eng 111-131 11.28.2011 Ms. Kimberly Thompson Permission to Leave - Euthanasia in India Euthanasia literally means good death or easy death in Greek. It is also known as Mercy Killing. It means putting a person to painless death especially in case of incurable sufferings or when life becomes purposeless as a result of mental or physical handicap. Euthanasia is a controversial subject which has a lot of moral, ethical, and legal dilemmas. Euthanasia should be legalized b
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  Sarita VijayakumarEng 111-13111.28.2011Ms. Kimberly Thompson Permission to Leave - Euthanasia in IndiaEuthanasia literally means good death or easy death in Greek. It isalso known as Mercy Killing. It means putting a person to painless deathespecially in case of incurable sufferings or when life becomes purposelessas a result of mental or physical handicap. Euthanasia is a controversialsubject which has a lot of moral, ethical, and legal dilemmas. Euthanasiashould be legalized because of reasons such as right to die, emotional andfinancial.Euthanasia can be classified as active and passive. Active euthanasiaentails the use of lethal substances or forces to kill a person e.g. a lethalinjection given to a person with terminal cancer who is in terrible agony.Physician Assisted Suicide is also a form of active euthanasia. Passiveeuthanasia entails withholding of medical treatment for continuance of life,e.g. withholding of medication without which the patient is likely to die, orremoving the heart lung machine, from a patient in coma. A furthercategorization of euthanasia is between voluntary euthanasia and nonvoluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is where the consent is taken  from the patient, whereas non voluntary euthanasia is where the consent isunavailable e.g. when the patient is in coma, or is otherwise unable to giveconsent.Euthanasia is one of the most perplexing issues which the courts andlegislatures all over the world are facing today. The general legal position allover the world seems to be that while active euthanasia is illegal unlessthere is legislation permitting it, passive euthanasia is legal even withoutlegislation provided certain conditions and safeguards are maintained. InIndia active euthanasia is illegal and a crime under section 302 or at leastsection 304 IPC. Physician assisted suicide is a crime under section 306IPC(Law Commission of India). However, on March 07, 2011 the Indian Highcourt rules 'passive euthanasia' permitted under certain circumstances. Thecourt stated that, while there is no statutory provision to support activeeuthanasia, where an individual dies by lethal injection, passive euthanasiathrough a withdrawal of life support would be permissible with approval bythe high court after receiving requests from the government and close familymembers of the individual and getting the opinions of three respecteddoctors.India's supreme court rejected a plea to end the life of a woman whowas brian damaged 37 years ago. Aruna Shanbaug, 60, a former nurse,suffered brain injures during a sexual assault in 1973, leaving her in avegetative state ever since. She has been unable to talk, move or eat on her  own for 37 years and has been looked after by the medical staff at Mumbai'sKing Edward Memorial Hospital (Rao) Yet another example is the suffering of my grandmother. She was a very active and social person. She was diabeticand at the age of 82 had a stroke. It made her bed ridden and almost lifeless. This once energetic and happy person was miserable. She wouldn't want tosit up and converse with people. The only time she communicated withpeople was when she wanted them out of the room, she would makedisgruntled noises asking them to leave. A second stroke made her unable toeat, they had to put a tube down her nose to feed her. She din't want to liveanymore, she was so bitter and angry all the time. It broke my heart to see aperson normally full of life be dead while being alive. The first reason for it to be legalized is the patience choice or right todie. Even though life is sacred some believe that a decent death is moreimportant. When the patient has chronic unbearable pain, his or her lifebecomes not worth living and the patient hopes to end it to avoid suffering. Therefore, a patient with a terminal illness should have the opportunity andthe right to choose death. The most important factor determining death mustbe a judgment about the quality of life. The second reason is emotional well being. This constitutes theemotional well being of both the person in need of euthanasia and his or hersupport system.   The third reason is financial stability. The terminally ill person might notbe of stable financial background. He or she might not have the money toprolong treatment and would not want to burden his or her family withfinancial debts. They feel there is no point inSome members of India's medical and legal establishments believethat India isn't ready for euthanasia because of weak legal enforcement,religious and ethical issues. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spiritualleader and Head of State of the Tibetan government in exile, stated thefollowing in a 1985 letter to Asiaweek: In the event a person is definitelygoing to die and he is either in great pain or has virtually become avegetable, and prolonging his existence is only going to cause difficulties andsuffering for others, the termination of his life may be permitted according toMahayana Buddhist ethics. Prakash N. Desai in Medical Ethics, History of South and East Asia II says, Most Indian religions accept 'willed' or'hastened death', where they believe that it is permitted to chose themoment of death by starvation in order to avoid painfully long suffering. Inthe face of approaching or inevitable death or debilitating and painfully longsuffering, traditional ethics provides permission to leave voluntarily.One of the primary reasons people oppose this practice is because they think it isessentially playing God, but again the medical and legal people are alreadyplaying God.As clinical psychologist and researcher from The RehabilitationCentre in Ottawa, Canada, Keith G. Wilson points out, “People who areagainst legalization are motivated primarily by religious or secular moral
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