Mercy killing is an issue that touches on social, legal, religious and health
matters. Mercy killing takes place when a person is terminally ill and has no
chance of recovery. This patient's life is then terminated by a
predetermined way where a doctor or relative
or an authority gives medicines to end his life.
Religion forbids the taking
of another person's life. So does the law. Our conscience too will tell us not
to kill another person but we must consider the circumstances in this matter. If
a loved one is very ill and is suffering, this affects the whole family. It will
be hard to see him in pain all the time. Furthermore, he may never recover from
this illness. His illness will drain the family emotionally and financially. His
life will be miserable and he may wish for death himself. So would mercy killing
help to end his misery?
Very old people who are in such painful situations may actually prefer death
to a life that has taken away their dignity. They will know that there can be no
recovery for them. What about severely disabled persons who suffer pain and loss
of dignity on a daily basis? We do know of cases where these people have begged
for death! It is sad to see the plight of these people and there can be very
little done to make their lives better. Of course one must remember that there
are many disabled people who can live a fairly decent life. One must not think
that mercy killing is a necessary measure or an answer for all health problems.
In addition, research and medical progress will come
to a standstill if mercy killing is carried out without much thought.
Doctors and scientists must work to find cures and man's life must be thought of
as sacred always. As long as there is life, there is hope and some people may
actually benefit from a miraculous cure. A patient in pain cannot be put to
sleep instantly or ultimately. That will defeat our purpose in life. Mercy
killing can only be considered as a last resort for some patients under special
Irresponsible doctors and greedy relatives may start to cause the deaths of
rich people on the basis that they are acting mercifully. That will be murder!
So to say that we must have mercy killing on a general basis is very tricky
indeed as there may be abuse of the system. There are many factors to be
considered and weighed before decisions can be made.
There are countries which have legalised mercy killing but many countries are
cautious as it may lead to abuse. This is an area of life which needs more
thinking and rational decisions.