Euthanasia is the practice of ending the life of a person in a painless way. It is also known also as mercy killing or assisted suicide, it is usually practiced on a terminally ill person. Euthanasia may be legal or illegal, depending upon a country’s jurisdiction. For example, euthanasia is legal in countries like Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Albania, under the condition that the patient is suffering from chronic pain along with an incurable disease. In the United States, euthanasia is illegal; whatever may be the condition of the patient.
Euthanasia should be allowed but on case by case basis. Supreme court has given guidelines in the case of Arunashaubag case. Hence, passive euthanasia is allowed. The arguments in favour of euthanasia are:
- Autonomy: right to self determination, informed patient has a right to choose the manner of his treatment.
- Beneficenceis acting in what is (or judged to be) in patient’s best interest.
- Right to dignified death in the case of permanently vegetative state.
- Right to get relief from excruciating pain.
- Given the cost of health care expenditure the palliative care becomes a huge burden.