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Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate

25 Jan

Click here to read in Gujarati
Subject
of my today’s Post is extremely confusing and difficult also to reach any concrete conclusion. It is such a long standing and controversial debate which has no end because both the groups of thought have hundreds of arguments in pros and cons. Here, my Readers will find my sincere attempt to study the issue neutrally without any approval or disapproval to it from my end. The issue of ‘Mercy Killing’ or in other word ‘euthanasia’ has been debated all over the world for many years and here I am like one of them entering the debate. Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Our life is a long and strenuous quest of truth.” As previously said in some my blog post, we can reach a truth, but we cannot reach the truth.

Now, let us know first what kind of killing this is. As in my title above, the words ‘mercy’ or ‘merciful’ are common; but ‘killing’ and ‘death’ are different though to be meant in the same meaning as ‘to end the life’. I have traced out two definitions by surfing the Internet: (1) An easy or painless death or intentional ending of the life of a person suffering from incurable or painful disease at the patient’s request. (2) The intentional termination of the life of one human being by another.

Both these definitions represent the same thing in different manners; but, I would like to name the first as “Merciful Death” and the second as “Mercy Killing”. Why? It is obvious that in “Merciful Death”, the consent of the person being ceased to live is included into the action; but, in second one, it does not seem so and the decision and/or action is being taken by other than the patient and therefore echoing the meaning ‘killing’ therein. The “Merciful Death” becomes the “Mercy Killing” in the cases when the patient slips into coma (or is brain dead) or the patient is a child unable to speak or it is still in mother’s womb.

Many Medical Organizations, Ethical Institutions, Governments and their Judicial Systems and also many Humanist Individuals worldwide disapprove such practice of terminating human lives on the basis of ‘mercy’ under their various arguments related to ethics, public opinions, medical traditions and fundamental right of human being to live as long as it is in Power of the Almighty Creator and also the respective person is able to live the life.

But, ideologies and realities are different. It is easy to condemn such killings for those who are not put in such a critical situation and also have not come under tension of taking such hard decisions. Merciful Death or Mercy Killing must have the strong reasons to justify such as unbearable pain, physical discomfort or loss of quality life. In the words of Darwin’s theory, we may say that the person deserving ‘Mercy killing’ is not fit to survive. The reason of ‘treatment is too expensive and time-consuming’ is not an acceptable excuse for such killings.

Such termination of life can be handled with the collective decision of patient and/or nearest relatives, doctors, State laws and also Judicial System. Such a very paining and hard task, in case of any attempt at recovery seems futile, may be undertaken simply by withholding or withdrawing medical treatments or life supporting systems. In view of some people, installing of such life supporting system is not an act of saving life and, similarly, removing it will not be an act of killing. Sometimes, certain permitted and medically approved methods such as using a lethal injection are practiced. At the first sight, such an act undertaken by a Physician may seem to be a cold blooded murder of the patient; but it is not so. This is simply a Physician assisted suicide of a terminally ill patient. Here, such act is not a killing but it is the mercy towards the patient or we may call it as a part of caring of him.

Between the lines, let me tell my Readers frankly that I do not expect the words of appreciation or a pat on my back for presentation of this informative Article as the real credit goes to our family members Dr. Zohrin A. Musa, M.D. (Radiologist) (Gold Medalist) and Dr. Anish Musa, M.S. (Opthalmologist) for their guidance and specific information provided specially here below.

Now, I’ll take the issue of unborn babies on debate. Under advanced technology in the medical field, some prenatal tests can forecast the children’s congenital defects of the head, face, hands, feet etc.. In such cases, if the mercy killing of the foetus (fully developed baby) is in the best interest of the child and of the family, many people support it, though it being shocking but, as a mother’s rightto have an abortion. Medically and also ethically, the foetus and newborn baby have no any sharp distinction. But difficulty is that the diagnosis of the problem in discussion can be done only in the state of foetus only; and in genuine cases, if the abortion becomes the must, it may be carried out though it becomes an act of killing just as a newly born child. We should bear it in our mind clearly that the sex selective abortion is the greatest crime and it is not permitted by any State and Religious laws.

Plastic and Reconstructive surgery is a medical specialty, now a days, and through which the child’s physical deformity can be corrected and a more normal appearance can be restored in cases of cleft lip or palate, abnormal head shape, jaw deformities etc.. Facial ugliness only is not the strong base for killing a child. In brief to say, the ‘mercy killing’ may be allowed in the cases of severely disabled unborn babies only though it may be regrettable but overall it must be admirable.

Before I conclude my Article, I would like to appreciate all those parents worldwide living or deceased who might have preferred to let their helpless children take birth in spite of the medical advice of opting abortions. They people have accepted the challenge to fight against the destiny of the children as well as their own families. They people have spent a lot of money either their own or borrowed for the repeated costly Plastic surgeries of their babies. Salutes especially to those mothers who had not seen their children yet as still they were in their wombs and allowed them to come out and breathe the fresh air of this world.

Summing up my Article here, I have simply to say that the subject discussed above is of an ongoing debate which has no any definite conclusion being it sensitive, confusing, sentimental and solely subjective also.

Hope the Article aimed at the parentsbe commented feeling free.

- Valibhai Musa
Dtd.: 25th January, 2008

 
26 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2008 in Article, લેખ

 

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26 responses to “Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate

  1. Alex

    January 25, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Very nicely put. I completely agree with you on sex selective abortion. It should be considered as conscious attempt/crime to murder.

     
  2. musawilliam

    January 26, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Hello…
    I am pleased with your comment on “Mercy killing….”. Sex-ratio imbalance is the prime issue of the world. Many countries have framed the laws in this regard and taken proper measures to increase the birth rate of female child.
    Thanks.
    Regards,
    Valibhai Musa

     
  3. Zohrin

    February 19, 2008 at 10:51 am

    thanks,
    the high spirit & efforts of parents who bring up their disabled child with such a love is really to be saluted upon. this article might bring smile on their face.

     
  4. Valibhai Musa

    February 20, 2008 at 3:29 am

    Hello Zohrin,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and your good comments on my Articles. Indeed, such parents will rise with their heads held high before the Almighty Creator on the Day of Judgment.
    Regards,
    Valibhai Musa

     
  5. Akbarali

    February 21, 2008 at 5:48 am

    I knew the guy who is passing through the same situation of the same case. I think you should highlight the efforts, difficulties he faced, highmoral, contiinuous efforts and such a long time treatment of a lot of expenses.

     
  6. Valibhai Musa

    February 21, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Dear Akbarali,
    Thanks for showing your affirmatiive response to my thoughts in the Article. If you have strong desire for highlighting the efforts of your known guy, you may contact and ask him to provide me some feedback in this regard. I’ll feel good to represent the same on my blog just to provide a live example to my Readers how much such ethical persons can sacrifice for the good of their disabled kids.
    Regards,
    Valibhai Musa

     
  7. Roohi

    April 18, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    hello mama…….i totally agree with u but i can’t understand 1 line “we can reach a truth, but we cannot reach the truth” what do u mean by this line……..would u plz explain it with example.

     
  8. Valibhai Musa

    April 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Dear Roohi Beta (Daughter),

    It is very simple. When we say “the truth”, it means “An Absolute Truth”, a final and perfect truth.But “a truth” means a part of the full truth i.e. the process of finding the perfect truth is still going on. I have underlined the Articles “A” and “The” in my Article to highlight the profound meaning of my statement.

    I appreciate you for visiting my web, reading such knowledgeable Articles deeply and also showing interest to go deep still more.

    Lastly, my counseling is ‘not to forget your prime goal of studies’.

    With warm regards,

    Valibhai Musa

     
  9. archemidas

    May 12, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    i agree

     
  10. Zardy

    May 31, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Thank You Valibhai. I am participating in a debate this 5th of June and will be using some of your very valid points.
    I believe you have put in a lot of effort and done a great job in summarizing this serious topic.

    And Thank You!

     
  11. Tina

    January 24, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I agree with most of your points. Nicely complied.

     
  12. Shaleen

    January 6, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Heyya same here..M participating in a debate too regarding euthanasia.I m going to speak ‘for’ it..And m greatful to you sir for helping me out.You hav encouraged me a lot.
    Thnx.Keep up the good work.Take care!!

     
    • Valibhai Musa

      January 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

      Thank you for praising my Article and Blog.I request you to kindly put this comment on my own hosting blog http://www.musawilliam.com where you will find this article also-
      “Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate”
      Regards,
      Valibhai Musa

       
    • Valibhai Musa

      January 8, 2010 at 7:00 am

      Thank you for praising my Article and Blog.I request you to kindly put this comment on my own hosting blog http://www.musawilliam.com where you will find this article also-
      “Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate”
      Regards,
      Valibhai Musa

       
  13. Shaleen

    January 9, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Heyya same here..M participating in a debate too regarding euthanasia.I m going to speak ‘for’ it..And m greatful to you sir for helping me out.You hav encouraged me a lot.
    Thnx.Keep up the good work.Take care!!

     
  14. mahejabin palasara

    March 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    hello! masa i agree with you , but istrongly believe that GOD gives us life and no one has right to kill or sucide them salves, the persons suffer frm.COMA or unbareable dieses. i really salute of those parents who bring up their disabled child.

     
    • Valibhai Musa

      March 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Hello Mahejabin,
      Thanks for your comment. It has not yet opened in my Dashboard. When it opens, I’ll approve it and it will appear in the Comment Box under Article.
      Thanks once again for supporting my views and ideas in the Article.
      Regards,
      Valimaasaa

       
  15. Mahejabin Palasara

    March 17, 2010 at 7:38 am

    This is a Comment from Mahejabin Palasara lost in system somewhere and now posted here on her behalf by Author:

    Hello! Maasa

    I agree with you and strongly believe that GOD gifted life is precious. None has the right to kill others who might be in Coma or be suffering from any unbearable diseases and also make suicide by themselves. I really salute those parents who bring up their disabled children with love.

    With warm regards,

    Mahejabin

     
  16. Sharad Shah

    May 24, 2010 at 3:57 am

    પ્રિય વલીભાઈ;
    પ્રેમ્;
    આ વિવાદ ઘણા સમયથી ચાલ્યો આવે છે, અને મોટાભાગની સરકારો Mercy Killing ને કાયદાનુ સ્વરુપ આપતા ગભરાય છે અને તેનુ મુખ્ય કારણ છે સમગ્ર માનવ જાત મા થયેલ નિતીમત્તાનુ અધઃપતન. બધાને ભય એ છે કે Mercy Killing ના નામે Killing શરુ થઈ જશે તો? અને ભારત જેવા દેશમા કે જ્યાં નિતીમત્તાની કેવળ વાતો જ રહી ગઈ છે, બાકી નિતીમત્તા, એડમિનિસ્ટ્રેશન, લેજીસ્લેશન બધું જ સાવ ખાડે ગયું હોય ત્યાં Mercy Killing ના નામે Killing થતાં વાર લગે તેમ નથી. Mercy Killing સ્વસ્થ સમાજ વ્યવસ્થા માટે આશિર્વાદરુપ છે, પણ અસ્વસ્થ સમાજ માટે ખતરારુપ છે.
    બાકી વ્યક્તિગત મારું મંતવ્ય એવું છે કે,” માનવી ને જીવવાનો અધિકાર છે તેમ મરવાનો પણ અધિકાર હોવો ઘટે. હિન્દુઓમા સમાધી લેવી, કે જૈનોમા સંથારો લેવાની પ્રથા જે હતી તે આમ જુઓ તો સ્વેચ્છા મ્રુત્યુ જ છે અને ધાર્મિક રીતે તેનુ ખૂબ મહત્વ હતું. પણ કાળક્રમે તેમા સડાઓ લાગતા ગયા.
    શેષ શુભ
    પ્રભુશ્રિના આશિષ;
    શરદ

     
  17. Valibhai Musa

    May 24, 2010 at 4:40 am

    શરદભાઈ,
    સમાધિ, સંથારો કે સતીપ્રથા (જો કે નામશેષ થઈ ગઈ છે)એ દયામૃત્યુ હેઠળ ન આવી શકે. મારું તો માનવું છે કે એ બધી આત્મહત્યાઓ જ કહેવાય.ઈશ્વરે જીવન જીવવા માટે આપ્યું છે, નહિ કે વેડફી નાખવા કે તેનો દુરુપયોગ કરવા. આપણે દુન્યવી રીતે એક ઉદાહરણ વિચારીએ કે આપણે કોઈ માણસને ભુખ્યો સમજીને કંઈક આર્થિક સહાય કરીએ અને તે આપણી મદદને દારૂ પીવામાં કે અન્ય રીતે વેડફી નાખે તો આપણને નહિ જ ગમે. બસ, આ જ પ્રમાણે જીવવા માટે મળેલી જિંદગીને આત્મવિલોપન કરીને ગુમાવી દેવામાં આવે તો તે ઈશ્વરને કઈ રીતે ગમી શકે!

     
  18. Sharad Shah

    May 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    પ્રિય વલીભાઈ;
    પ્રેમ;
    સમાધિ, સંથારો કે સતીપ્રથા એ દયામ્રુત્યુ હેઠળ ન આવી શકે, પણ સ્વેચ્છા મ્રુત્યુ હેઠળ આવી શકે. અને મેં અત્રે તેને સ્વેચ્છા મ્રુત્યુ હેઠળ જ આવર્યા છે.દયામ્રુત્યુની વાત તો પ્રથમ ફકરામાં જ પૂરી કરી દીધેલ.
    સમાધિ અને સંથારો એ હિન્દુ અને જૈન દર્શન પ્રમાણે આત્માની એક ઉચ્ચ અવસ્થામા લેવાયેલ નિર્ણય છે. આ કોઈ આત્મહત્યા નથી. સામન્યરીતે આત્મહત્યા ઘોર હતાશા કે નિરાશાનુ પરિણામ હોય છે. જ્યારે સમાધિ કે સંથારો ધ્યાનની ગહન અવસ્થામા બોધપૂર્વક મ્રુત્યુનુ સહર્ષ સ્વાગત છે. હિન્દુ દર્શન કહે છે કે જીવન અને મ્રુત્યુ એક જ સિક્કાની બે બાજુ છે, અથવા એક જ રેખાના બે છોર છે. જીવન અને મ્રુત્યુ બે ભિન્ન ઘટના દેખાય છે પણ ભિન્ન છે નહી. તે એક બીજામા એટલા સંયુક્ત છે કે તેને ભિન્ન કરી શકાય પણ નહી. એક ઋષિએ કહ્યું છે,” અહીં જન્મના ગર્ભમાં મ્રુત્યુ અને મ્રુત્યુના ગર્ભમાં જીનન પેદા થાય છે.”હિન્દુ મનિષા જીવનનુ સ્વાગત પણ કરે છે અને મ્રુત્યુનુ પણ.બાળકના જન્મની સાથે જ મ્રુત્યુની પ્રક્રિયા શરુ થઈ જાય છે. બાળકનો જન્મ થયો કે બાળકનૂ મ્રુત્યુ શરુ થયું? શું કહેવું? જો કે આપણે વ્યવહારમાં તો બાળક્નો જન્મ થયો તેમ જ કહી એ છીએ. મ્રુત્યુનો ભય જ એવો છે કે તેના વિષે વાત કરતા પણ જીવ ગભરાવા માડે છે. એટલે આપણે મ્રુત્યુના સમાચારને પણ અશુભ ગણીએ છીએ. જરા કલ્પના કરો કે મ્રુત્યુ જો ના હોત તો શું થાત.મ્રુત્યુ વગરની દુનિયા કલ્પવી પણ મુશ્કેલ છે.મ્રુત્યુની માનવ જાત પર મોટી મહેરબાની છે. અને જેની મહેરબાની હોય તેનૂ સ્વાગત કરવામા છોછ કેવો? હિન્દુ દર્શનમા તો મ્રુત્યુ નો દેવ મહાદેવથી (શિવ) ઓળખાય છે.મારી આટલી વાતથી તમે સમજી શકશો કે સમાધિ, સંથારો અને આતમહત્યા એક જ નથી. હા, બધાનુ પરિણામ મ્રુત્યુ છે એટલે આવો ભાષ થાય તે સ્વભાવિક છે.
    બીજું આપ કહો છો કે “આપણને જીવન જીવવા માટે આપ્યું છે વેડફવા માટે નહી” જરા વિચાર કરી ને કહેજો જીવન જીવવુ એટલે શું? અને જીવન વેડફવું એટલે શું? અને તમારી પોતાની વ્યાખ્યા પ્રમાણે આ દુનિયામાં કેટલા લોકો જીવન જીવી રહ્યા છે અને કેટલા લોકો જીવન વેડફી રહ્યા છે, તેવો અંદાજ કાઢજો. આ અંગે આપણે ફરી વાત કરશું.
    શેષ શુભ.
    પ્રભુશ્રિના આશિષ;
    શરદ

     
  19. nisha

    July 21, 2010 at 6:10 am

    i agree with you. i salute to those parents whose child have the same problem.

     
  20. Siraj Parmer

    August 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Lots of good points to ponder upon! Thanks of the article.
    In case of life support system, I personally would not mind withdrawal of support, after say a month or two at most, if doctors see no hope of recovery. By the way, I think it is important to put down one’s intentions in one’s Will to spare others of this difficult decision.

     
    • Valibhai Musa

      August 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Hello Mr. Siraj,

      Assalamo Alaykum.

      Thanks for your inspiring comment. Opinions on such controversial subjects might differ person to person. I appreciate your feelings; but I, very politely, draw your kind attention towards the following copy-pasted sentence from my Article.

      “It is easy to condemn such killings for those who are not put in such a critical situation and also have not come under tension of taking such hard decisions”.

      In spite of my above thoughts, I do believe that the discussion in question is very delicate, sensitive and subjective also; and hence it can never come to any unanimous conclusion.

      With warm regards,
      Valibhai

       
  21. Laxmikant Thakkar

    May 30, 2012 at 3:53 am

    I think,Since the matter is complicated…it has to be decided by the concerned INDIVIDUALS..in consultation with the knowledge-able Advisers/Experts as per the Law of the LAND….,
    OF COURSE, ANY ILLEGAL ACTIVITY HAS TO BE REPORTED TO the concerned authority as an alert citizen.Sincere efforts by Janab Valibhai Musa are surely love-able!Thanks for Sharing Views. Cn I know:” Why the contents of this are IDENTIFIED AS risky for Computer? as it doesn’t open under ‘ https’! lable

     
  22. LITO JOSE P. LALANTACON

    December 2, 2012 at 6:57 am

    SALAMAT it really help in my report.

     

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