Euthanasia is the termination of someone’s life, when living becomes too unbearable for one (physically). Euthanasia is mostly carried out because the person who dies asks for it, but there are cases of euthanasia where a person is not even in a state to make such a request.
A person who undergoes euthanasia usually has an incurable condition. But there are other instances where some people want their life to be ended.
In many cases, it is carried out at the person’s request but there are times when they may be too ill and the decision is made by relatives, medics or, in some instances, the courts.
Euthanasia is against the law in the UK where it is illegal to help anyone kill themselves. Voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide can lead to imprisonment of up to 14 years.
Euthanasia can be carried out either by taking actions, including giving a lethal injection, or by not doing what is necessary to keep a person alive (such as failing to keep their feeding tube going).
Euthanasia can be categorized into 5 types
Voluntary Euthanasia– When a competent person makes a voluntary and enduring request to be helped to die.
Involuntary Euthanasia– To end a person’s life without their knowledge or consent.
Active Euthanasia– To end a person’s life by using drugs, whether by oneself or with the aid of a physician.
Passive Euthanasia– To end a person life by not taking the necessary and ordinary action to maintain life, like withdrawing water, food etc.
Involuntary Euthanasia– To end a person’s life against the will of the person.
Examples of euthanasia:
· In 2010 Hrithik Roshan starred in a Bollywood film called Guzaarish, which portrayed euthanasia, opening up a huge debate nation wide
· Supreme Court of India legalized passive euthanasia on 7 March, 2011 following the Aruna Shanbaug case.
Aruna Shanbaug lived in a vegetative state for 42 years, after she was brutally raped in 1973. Her case was a key factor that prompted the Supreme Court’s decision.
Most people think unbearable pain is the main reason people seek euthanasia, but some surveys in the USA and the Netherlands showed that less than a third of requests for euthanasia were because of severe pain.
Terminally ill people can have their quality of life severely damaged by physical conditions such as incontinence, nausea and vomiting, breathlessness, paralysis and difficulty in swallowing.
Psychological factors that cause people to think of euthanasia include depression, fearing loss of control or dignity, feeling a burden, or dislike of being dependent.