Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. It is also known as mercy killing.

Active Euthanasia vs. passive Euthanasia

When most people think of euthanasia, they think of a doctor directly ending someone’s life. This is known as active euthanasia. Purposely giving someone a lethal dose of a sedative is considered active euthanasia.

Passive euthanasia is sometimes described as withholding or limiting life-sustaining treatments so that a person passes more quickly. A doctor may also prescribe increasingly high doses of pain-killing medication. Overtime, the doses may become toxic.

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Controversy around euthanasia

1. Morality and religion

2. Physician judgement

3. Ethics

4. Personal choice

Passive euthanasia is legal in India. On 7th March 2011, the Supreme Court of India legalised passive euthanasia by means of withdrawal of life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state. The Supreme Court specified irreversible conditions to permit passive euthanasia law in 2011.

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For example, Aruna Shan bhang case was terminally ill for a very long time and finally got relieved of the pain due to the above legal provision.

“Death with dignity” is a movement that encourages legislatures to allow people to decide how they want to die. Some people simply don’t want to go through a long dying process, often out of concern of the burden it puts on their loved ones. At the end it is upto us to decide what we want to do in such cases.


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