Monthly Archives: January 2008

Mercy Killing or Merciful Death – A Debate

Click here to read in Gujarati
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


Posted by on January 25, 2008 in Article, લેખ, MB


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My Haikus (Tragic) – V [મારાં હાઈકુ (વિષાદમય) – ૫]

My Haikus (Tragic) – V [મારાં હાઈકુ (વિષાદમય) – ૫]

Here below, you will find some more Haikus which represent some word pictures of the soul-mate on death bed or already dead and/or buried in the grave-yard. Some of them represent emotional expressions of husband missing his beloved who has passed away. Some situations and narrations are very touching to the heart, in my opinion, and hope that my Readers will also agree with. Still, I have many Haikus on varioussubjects ready to post, but I wish to have some break. Thus, this post on Haikus is the last, meanwhile, to say.

Now, go further toshare the grief felt by the husband:

મજાની, મળે
! (૫૮) (Grave and cradle)

સૌ, મથે મને
! (૫૯)

, ખેંચેછોડે,
તબીબો ! (૬૦)

, ખૂબ રડ્યા અમે,

પૂર્ણ સંતોષ ! (૬૧)

ક્રૂર મજાક !
ઓઢીને સૂતાં,
રડતા ! (૬૨)

સજીવન થૈ,
રડી પડો તો !
હું અશ્રુ ! (૬૩)

શબ, સાથ લૈ
મડદાં ! (૬૪)

શી હઠ તવ !
ઊંચકવાં, ત્યાં
ભણી ! (૬૫)

બાય દોઢ
દિવાલે કાચો,

છત તો પાકી ! (૬૬)

દફન થયાં,
થતા, કાશ !
સાથે ! (૬૭)

મુજને, તેં
કબર ! (૬૮)

ગયાં, વધ્યા
કાંચળી ! (૬૯)

સરકી ! (૭૦)

કાળજું કોરે,
યાદ, રાતદિ
ભ્રમર ! (૭૧)

કોમળ યાદ
ન્હોર તીણા, ચીરે
કાળજું ! (૭૨)

આપણ બેઉ,
! (૭૩)

આશિષ તને
અખંડ સૌભાગ્યની,
, હવે, હા !(૭૪)

તવ યાદનો
પ્રાણવાયુ જીવાડે,
મરણ ! (૭૫)

Hope be commented my post,

With Regards,
– Valibhai Musa
14th January, 2008


Posted by on January 17, 2008 in gujarati, Poetry


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The Square World – IV (Final)

Click here to read in Gujarati
In my
previous three parts of this cyclic Article (Part- I, II and III), I had presented some characters named as A to E. Their tragic stories are not imaginary ones, but they all are based on facts. As I had made clear formerly and hence by giving no real names, I have said what I had to. But, here, in this last and final part of my subject above, I’ll not hesitate to write openly and specifically as it is the historical fact and also known to the most of the world and particularly to Shi’ite Muslims – the tragedy of Kerbala (Martyrdom of Imam Hussein A.S. and his companions), always live in their minds and paining to their hearts even after the passing of about 14 centuries.

Volumes and volumes have been written to describe the tragic history of Kerbala; but, here in my Article, I’ll narrate in brief how a pious woman named Janabe Zainab (a.s.), with her nearest ones and the Fourth Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) – the only male member accompanying them was imprisoned by Yazid, the most cruel enemy of Islam and the members of the family of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). It was a time when Janabe Zainab was being greeted and honored as the daughter of Hajarat Imam Ali (a.s.) and the grand daughter of the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.). After the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and all his colleagues, the female relatives and the only son of him – Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) who was sick then were brought as the captives in the Capital of Yazid’s kingdom.

The journey from Kerbala to Damascus was very terrific. The women had no veils over their heads. They were tied in ropes and seated on the bare backs of the camels without saddles. They were denied even water for the children under the burning sun and scorching sands. These were the physical tortures but the mental tortures were beyond words. The caravan was lead surrounded by the slaughtered heads of the loved ones atop the points of spears much paining them, with a group of thirstily wailing children, chained and manacled Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) on top of all hordes of onlookers who were ridiculing at that pathetic sight. In brief to say the atmosphere was hostile and every glance was full of hatred. Edward Gibbon has noted that the tragic scene of the death of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and his companions and also the oppressions made to his female family members and children are such that will awaken the sympathy of even the coldest Readers till the numerous millenniums to come.

Now, let me come to my subject of the prison and lead you to such a horrible place where these unhappy oppressed people were kept as prisoners. It was a dark under ground cell and a few stale morsels of bread and a very little water which was barely enough for every one was being served to them. The renowned historian al-Biruni has stated, “Nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities.” Thomas Carlyle, Dr. K. Sheldrake, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and many more Non – Muslim personalities of the world have expressed their views on tragedy of Kerbala, the Martyrdom of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and post Ashura sufferings of women and children in their own words, but here there is no scope to present those in detail due to my limitation in this briefly summarized text.

Again, we return to the dangerous dungeon where we can see a female child named Sakina, the most beloved daughter of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and who used to sleep on the father’s chest every night and missing him the great. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) tried her best to console and stop her from crying and make her go to sleep, but all in vain. Sometimes, she herself became calm  thinking that her weeping might upset all the members in the cell and therefore she cried silently and wiped away her tears quickly. As and when she happened to be out of the prison, she stared at the flock of birds flying to their nests at sunset and asked Janabe Zainab (a.s.) whether they all would go home like those birds.

Then, on one dreadful night, the child Sakina went to bed on the cold floor of the prison. For a long time she stared into the darkness! The time for the Morning Prayer came. She was still lying with her eyes wide open. Her mother-Shahr-i-Banu and Aunt-Janabe Zainab (a.s.) called out:”Wake up, Sakina, wake up; it is time for prayers, dear child!” There was only the painful silence! The fourth Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) walked up to where Bibi Sakina (a.s.) lay. He put his hand on her forehead. It was cold! He put his hand near the mouth and the nose. Bibi Sakina (a.s.) had stopped breathing. In between sobs, Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) said:”Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raaji’oon!”(Surely, from the Almighty God we come and to Him shall we return.). All the women in the cell began to cry standing around the dead body of their beloved child.

Bibi Sakina was buried in the same dungeon. Janabe Zainab (a.s.) held the still child as Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (a.s.) dug a grave for his sister in the dungeon. Her clothes were burnt in Kerbala, and due to injuries had intermingled with her flesh. Therefore, she was buried in the same burnt, ripped clothes right there in the Dungeon of Syria (Zindan-e-Shaam). As the grave was being filled up after the burial, the mother let out a scream. All the ladies huddled around her, and the prison walls began to shake with the cry, “Ya Bibi Sakina, Ya Mazloomah (O Sakina! O Oppressed one!)”. Such was the tragic end of Bibi Sakina, the young Hashemite princess. It was she whose father Imam Hussein (a.s.) was brutally killed in Kerbala. It was she whose baby brother Ali Ashgar who had an arrow shot through his neck. It was she whose beloved uncle Hajart Abbas (a.s.) had both his arms cut off.

With a heavy heart, I put an end of my Article here just with the conclusion that any kind of inhuman treatment towards not only the prisoners but all human kind is liable to be condemned if we like to be recognized ourselves as the civilized people.

May God prevent our hands from committing oppressions; May He bestow on people with dignity and peace of mind; May He confer on prisoners throughout the world with repentance, understanding of turning away from sins, freedom and peace; May He bestow upon those who are ruling with justice and kindness; and May He favor those who are ruled with just treatment and good character.*

With thanks,

– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. :
7th January, 2008

*(The content of the prayer at the end is based on a supplication that has been reported from The Twelfth Imam, Al-Qa’im Al-Mahdi (peace be upon him), the renowned descendent of the Ahl al-bayt (a.s.), The Just Leader of Humanity, The Alive but Hidden – The Imam of the Age, according to the faith of the Shi’ite Muslims.)

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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in Article, લેખ, MB


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The Square World – III

Click here to read in Gujarati
Now, my Re
aders, stop breathing for a while if you can; just to resist yourselves to hear the greatest crime to humanity. Here, you can see ladies seated in captivity. Here, you can see small babies fearfully clung to their mothers. Here, you can see also slightly grown up children playing in the corridor kicking the football which is not there, but with an action in air only. Such inhuman treatments towards women and children are criticized by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in a very briefstatementas “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” I would like to quote Peter Beneson once again in his words as “Open your newspaper – any of the week – and you will find a reportfrom somewhere in the world of someone imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions are unacceptable to his government.”

In the middle of the night, you can hear hysteric screams of the women from nearby cells and upper or downward floors. Either they sigh seeing their husbands or sons or youthful daughters captured or disappeared in their nightmare or for the pains in their ribs having been mercilessly tortured. These women have not been detained for any of their own crime, but they are here in lieu of their male relatives. The authorities have apprehended these women because of their male relatives’ so called defection or committance of an offence. Their male relatives might have run away to avoid any detention on suspicious ground leaving the ladies and the children at home. They people do not know that their ladies and children have been arrested in proxy of them. The cruel authorities have captured them to put an emotional pressure on gents so that they surrender themselves to get them released. Thus, this type of arrest is like the kidnapping of innocents. Whatever it may be, but here we can witness the climax of inhuman behavior of oppressors and miseries of the oppressed beyond words.

* * *

Let us turn, now, to an open ground which has high walls all around. Here we can see the male detainees compelled for the heavy exercise under the health pretexts of the prisoners.

Now, see Mr. D here. He has been brought for exercise along with all the inmates of his cell. He has been suffering from a nasty cough and a high temperature. The drill master takes a round and finds out Mr. D retired in a corner. The heartless drill master shouts, “What is the matter with you?” No reason can convince him. He orders Mr. D to run and jump. With this heavy exercise, he is panted and suffers from short breathe. He is admitted to the hospital but chained to his bed. Alas! The diagnosis is Tuberculosis.

Mr. D is a foreigner and has been in this country for a job. We can see that he does get the job, but job as a prisoner for suffering. In spite of his pitiable health condition, he is summoned frequently for interrogation. After unbearable torturing, he is finally threatened, “Well – well, you do not want to tell the truth. Enough time has been given to you till now, but you refuse to realize. We have decided to execute you.”

It is rather difficult to assess whether he will be executed with his ailment or by the bare sword which hung over his head.

* * *

The modes of chastisement vary. Now, see Mr. E here. He is an old man, a farmer. He does not know the reason of his arrest. He is forcedtoconfess the crime. But, what crime! The interrogators themselves do not know his crime and even though he has to confess any crime that may be imposed upon him. Mahatma Gandhi has quoted, “You canchain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body; but you will never imprison my mind”. But here, all these poor fellows do not come under the category of such great people. They are common people and it is obviously quite true that such people have no other option but to surrender themselves.

Continuous for six days, he has not been allowed even a single morsel of food or a sip of water. He is strong and stout; and that is why he survives, otherwise he would have finished. But he does not give in; and lastly, the dragons allow him the first meal. He can hardly open his eyes to see what goes into his mouth. Day and night, he is denied to sleep as well. Ever attending guards slap and kick him when his sleep takes the better of him. His speech becomes incoherent and eyes blank. Some signs of his recovery are seen after weeks. No offence is his offence and for that offence he has to pay.

When detainees reduce in the cell, the rest get relief otherwise the overcrowded cells seem to be a warehouse of the commodities of living persons. All have to adopt a method of sleeping in cycle in pairs. When one sleeps, the other has to stand upon his body for six hours or so. No movement is possible. They cannot even sit on the floor by interlocking of feet otherwise they can sleep in sitting positions. Then comes the turn of the other. He wakes up the first and asks him to stand over him as if to prevent him from escaping.

-Valibhai Musa
4th January, 2008
[ Continues on Part – IV (final) ]

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Posted by on January 6, 2008 in Article, લેખ, Civilization, MB


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