Euthanasia - The dignity to Die...The Conflict Continues

The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly.
The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation.  Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation. Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

DEATH – This mere 5 letter word triggers a plethora of some named and unnamed emotions along with a sense of negativity, melancholy and sadness. The thought of losing someone due to any reason, or even leaving this planet of ours is something we all avoid thinking and talking about and pray to the Lord deep in our hearts to never have such an experience (which is however unlikely)

But can anyone imagine, that for someone in this world, there can be that one person, for whom death is like an angel in disguise, like a messenger from heaven itself to give him the much desired and needed golden opportunity... To die with honor and dignity?

Yes, it's bizarre, but that's what euthanasia is - the dignity of dying of your own free will. The word compels me to recall a famous bollywood feature film Guzaarish, casting Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in which they show how the lead actor struggles with basic day-to-day tasks because he has been paralyzed due to an accident, and comes to a standstill with life. After a tough fight, he decides to give up and embrace death. For him, death was undoubtedly the easy way out and a path to tranquility

The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation.  Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The Never Ending Struggle of Life
Famous bollywood feature film Guzaarish, casting Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai
Famous bollywood feature film Guzaarish, casting Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai

The word euthanasia is derived from the Greek word 'Eu' meaning good and 'Thanatos' meaning death. Combining the two meanings, euthanasia is basically the concept of willingness to die peacefully to escape and avoid other merciless unavoidable sufferings that the person is facing. Even though this process intends to provide peace to the patient, euthanasia is considered illegal in most countries, including India.

Euthanasia is all about – the dignity to die with one’s own will or also mercy-killing. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Euthanasia is all about – the dignity to die with one’s own will or also mercy-killing. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation.  Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Canada Soon to Allow Euthanasia for the Mentally ill

Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma or ATC is yet another deadly disease whose victims have been subjected to euthanasia. In New Delhi, the patient who was diagnosed with the same 6 months ago chose assisted suicide and traveled to Switzerland to die on August 16th. Unfortunately, the date got postponed for a week till 23rd August and the patient lived each day with heaviness for just another week. His exit was as he wanted - following his daily routine, meditating, making a few phone calls, having breakfast and passing away peacefully.

Due to the intensity of suffering by the patients who demand euthanasia, most people all over the world favor and encourage this act to be legalized. Shon Mehta, an author who became a column writer for a daily newspaper at the age of 14 has said, "I lived my whole life following others' wishes. Let me follow my own wish in my death.” Surviving is a more painful task for them, and death is that light at the end of the tunnel, which brings them hope to start a fresh and new life next birth.

Surviving is a more painful task for them, and death is that light at the end of the tunnel [Image source: pixaabay]
Surviving is a more painful task for them, and death is that light at the end of the tunnel [Image source: pixaabay]

But at the same time, it is also rightly considered, that since it is God's wish which got you on this planet, it will be lord himself who will decide when it's the time for you to end your journey on this planet. Therefore, in many countries like India, Switzerland, the UK, and even US, this process is illegal. But the US has legalized mercy killing for animals. There are very less countries to allow euthanasia like Luxemburg and Belgium. The Netherlands was the first country to start practicing euthanasia legally.

Countries like Switzerland allow suicide and consider it to be legal. There are many people who are suffering from a physical ailment, whose sole purpose eventually is to stop the pain and end their lives, just like this particular gentleman - a former Welsh town councilor who was suffering from terminal cancer. He ended his life at a suicide center. He clearly stated that he had no wish to die in pain without dignity and therefore chose a peaceful way to die by moving to Switzerland for the same.

"I lived my whole life following other's wishes. Let me follow my own wish in my death.”
Shon Mehta, a column writer for a daily newspaper
The red highlighted portion indicates areas which has considered euthanasia to be illegal, and yellow practices passive euthanasia. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
The red highlighted portion indicates areas which has considered euthanasia to be illegal, and yellow practices passive euthanasia. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Another category of euthanasia is known as passive euthanasia - which is practiced in some cases in India. In such a process, the medical professionals intentionally do not provide any intensive medical help to the patient and withdraw the patient from life support, at the request of the patient's family and friends. They believe that the patient now has no chance of surviving and therefore, with the intention of not giving the patient and his or her kin more emotional and physical trouble, they withdraw the support and let the patient embrace his death with mercy - the incurable sufferers have the right to have a merciful death.

Although active mercy-killing is a much faster and easier process since it involves injecting a chemical into the body of the sufferer which immediately brings him or her closer to death willingly, this still hasn't been legally allowed in most parts of the world

" I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their own life, and those that help them should be free from prosecution."
Stephen Hawking

The journey of life is indeed an unpredictable journey. Its irony becomes beauty – someone is fighting death to live and in another corner, someone is fighting life, begging and praying to die, and so it is a paradox! Struggle... But ultimately, at the end of the day, there is a common intention to die or to live in peace without any pain and suffering - in both cases, there is a price to be paid.

With such a thought and purpose in mind, Stephen Hawking has beautifully said, " I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their own life, and those that help them should be free from prosecution."

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The essence of death can vary from person to person and from situation to situation.  Euthanasia is all about embracing death beautifully and willingly. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
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