Thursday, November 25, 2010

A reason to live or An option to die?

My post on Guzaarish, the latest movie on Euthanasia, has attracted a fair amount of comments, with lot of different views being presented. The only unanimous view was regarding the movie, every one thrashed it. Now I feel some further explanation is needed about my view on the subject.

Many people supports the idea of awarding death to some one who is suffering from some fatal disease or injuries. Several factors that favors such a thought are pain, suffering, dependability, disability, dignity, mental anguish, causing pain and suffering to relatives and friends.

Now my view is that for any decision involving the life of a person, utmost care has to be taken, so that there is no margin for error. If there is any chance of an innocent getting executed, better not to have laws that favors capital punishment. A life taken is irreversible. Definitely there are people who deserve to die, but what if someone who is wrongfully accused gets a death sentence? It is a severe situation and don't tell me our, or any other constitution and laws are error free. I propose the abolishment of capital punishment for this one reason alone.  

Coming back to Euthanasia, a decision has to be taken that causes a damage, that can in no way be corrected afterwards. So on what basis can a system guarantee that a right decision is taken?. If a totally paralyzed person is decided to be awarded mercy killing, doesn't it matter that his consent is not taken? Or if a suffering person want to die, what way does it makes him eligible to exercise his wish? There are people who went on with their life even in a paralyzed state providing inspiration to millions around the world. So shall we encourage him to embrace death or shall we provide him enough support and motivation to embrace  life and go on with it.  From  my own post:

Brain dead patients whom doctors had certified dead has returned back. It may be a minority case, but still valid. If  the sufferer loses hope and decides to die, what makes it different from a suicide? How can the border line be drawn between a case of mercy killing and suicide? After all I believe suffering is a response to a situation by an individual. It is not a situation itself. Another person may, in the same circumstances fight with his will power to his fate and emerge victorious. (Imagine Stephen Hawking). There are plenty of cases where people with sever first degree burns throughout their body, went on to get cured and lead a normal life. There are cases were quadriplegic patients, bedriden for more years than the protagonist, bounced back .

Stephen Hawking is in an increasing state of paralysis and assisted by a speaking wheel chair for support. Now, what if he decided to end his life? There are inspiring stories of men and women who had fought disabilities and made their life worthwhile. (Please see the link in the above quote.) Instead of debating on whether to take a life legally, let us find out a way to support them and make their short life on earth better and joyful.  

This lady recovered from being in a vegetable state.

For almost 70 days, she was totally unresponsive. Doctors finally pulled her feeding tube. And, for eight days, she was dying.

Then Ms. Adamson began responding on her own. Doctors quickly put the feeding tube back in, and she recovered.

See this page for links to more stories like this. What shall we do? Provide a reason to live, or an option to die?

Enough of serious talk, enjoy these two great songs, Send Me an Angel and Losing My Religion:


  1. Thought provoking post....It is difficult to say...Each case is unique. Personally, having seen my father in a vegetative state, I think that one should have the right to exit with dignity.

  2. well thoughful but I didnot like the fact that why is it others who will decide the fate, who are they to decide.. Its up to the person himself that i can understand

    and as mentioned by Alka each case is unique..

    i guess it should be allowed but the right shud remain with the person himself or maybe the next of kin ... not others ..

  3. @Alka: hm.. maybe

    @Bikram: It was good if things were that easy

  4. Very good analysis.
    Quoting from your post: "Several factors that favors such a thought are pain, suffering, dependability, disability, dignity, mental anguish, causing pain and suffering to relatives and friends." If the person who is suffering wants to die desperately and does not have the will to live any further, then assisted death by absolutely confirmed consent by the sufferer should be allowed. THis becomes difficult in practice if the sufferer is of unstable mind, demented etc. Possibility of fake consents can not be ruled out.Hats off those who have WILL to live - we should device ways and means to encourage everyone if he wants to survive.

  5. @vyasa: thanks for the visit and comment.