Euthanasia Or Mercy Killing A Wrong Thought Right Philosophy
It is the latest debate in bioethics that euthanasia or mercy killing is right or wrong. Euthanasia (from Greek: -eu "good," thanatos"- death") is the easiest way to end the life of an individual or an animal who is ill or is suffering from a very painful condition. The way to give him a dignified exit is through a painless or a minimally painful way that can be done by a drug overdose, a lethal injection, or the withdrawal of medical support. Euthanasia may be voluntary (patient consents); non-voluntary (patient neither consents nor refuses) or involuntary (against patient's consent). Furthermore it may be active involving use of force to kill or passive involving the withholding of common treatment necessary for continuance of life. The supporters of the practice argue on grounds of rights of self-determination, the alleged good of the person involved and cessation of unbearable pain. However what needs to be understood is this that no pain is unbearable, life beyond that is unknown to everyone, a kill cannot be justified, and legalizing the practice would lead to unimaginable wrongs (Kamisar Yale)
'When the patient wishes to die then who are we to stop him/her' is one of the major arguments in support of the practice. Whenever we are in the midst of a problem we wish to die, this is human nature and once we are out of it we forget all about it. If a child wishes to touch red hot coal, do we let him-we don't because we are in a better state of mind to decide than him. This becomes something like a suicide if the person wishes to be killed. The Islamic Code of Medical Ethics endorsed by the First International Conference on Islamic Medicine (Islamic Organization of Medical Sciences, Kuwait, 1981, p.65) includes: "Mercy killing, like suicide, finds no support except in the atheistic way of thinking that believes that our life on this earth is followed by void. The claim of killing for painful hopeless illness is also refuted, for there is no human pain that cannot be largely conquered by medication or by suitable neurosurgery...". Moreover, a kill can not be justified even if the person killed asks to be killed.
'Mercy Killing always entails the alleged good of the person involved' is another argument put forth by the supporters. The future is unpredictable, who knows what lies in store for the person so claiming alleged good is unreasonable. Looking at it from religious point of view, 'Undoubtedly, Islam strongly condemns the ending of a human life on the grounds of mercy and human sympathy.' (Shah, 1996, pp. 105-115). Taking up the fate in one's hand and deciding through example that something which was true for one or two other people would be true for him as well is not just religiously incorrect but also logically not sound. Every man must live his days to let the future reveal itself.
'Mercy Killing is used for the cessation of unbearable pain,' is one more apparently sound argument put forth. How do you claim that the pain ends here? Has anyone any proof of cessation of pain after death? Or is there any record of how much pain does the person experience during death? No pain is unbearable as one is afflicted with it and is going through it then it can not be unbearable. "Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure" (Quran 39:10) and Prophet Mohammad taught "When the believer is afflicted with pain, even that of a prick of a thorn or more, God forgives his sins, and his wrongdoings are discarded as a tree sheds off its leaves." This spiritual dimension may be effectively called to support to soothe the patient.
Mercy killing needs to be legalized is the slogan that the supporters of the practice keep raising time and again. What they fail to realize is that man is a heinous creature who would use it in his favour: inheritance, irritation with old age, or unnecessary care and expenditure of physically handicapped people may be a few causes of the pretended euthanasia that would be common in case the practice is legalized. West's Encyclopedia of American Law states that "a 'mercy killing' or euthanasia is generally considered to be a criminal homicide". Also, the Nazi Euthanasia programme 'Action T4' killing 200,000 people is a good enough example of how this policy can be used if made legal.
No doubt you would feel like ending your own life by any means possible if you were lying on a hospital bed; struggling to breath and in terrible pain from an incurable cancer, wanting only to end it but same is the case with us in every little problem we face, isn't it? We want to get rid of our worries but is that a fair enough excuse to end life? During one of the military campaigns one of the Muslims was killed and the companions of the prophet kept praising his gallantry and efficiency in fighting, but, to their surprise, the Prophet commented, "His lot is hell." Upon inquiry, the companions found out that the man had been seriously injured so he supported the handle of his sword on the ground and plunged his chest onto its tip, committing suicide. The amount of pain does not justify the kill, neither does it assure of alleged good as future and life after death remain unrevealed. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how many heinous crimes would be possible if the practice is legalized. So, Euthanasia may be active or passive, it is impermissible religiously, morally as well as legally.
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