Only the creator should take away life

INTERVIEW/ Anti-euthanasia

Ravi B NayakExcerpts of an interview to Deccan Herald:

What do you think of mercy killing?

When it is not possible for man to give life, who is he to take it away? We should leave death in the hands of God who gave life. There is no law that allows killing by force till a man dies naturally, nor should there be one. Do animals not endure pain and live? Why should man be bothered about something that doesn’t bother animals?

Would you apply the same analogy when it becomes impossible to live?

The answer lies in your question. What do you mean by ‘impossible to live’? In such a situation, people die naturally. When they don’t die, doesn’t it mean they can live? It is meaningless to ask them to die without allowing them to live.

Is it wrong to allow euthanasia when someone is afflicted with an incurable disease and is unable to bear the pain?

Of course. There are several instances where the patient has been diagnosed with imminent death and yet has recovered completely. If mercy killing comes into force, there are chances it will be misused.

How will it be misused?

Doctors may, under the lure of money or other inducements, wrongly certify the necessity of mercy killing. They may end the life of a patient who is perfectly capable of recovering, by listening to the patient’s relatives or anybody else.

‘Assisted’ accidents and murders may rise. The disadvantages of euthanasia are many.

Will applicants for mercy killing rise once permission for euthanasia is granted?

Yes. A large number of cancer patients may apply for mercy killing. Many patients may lose hope and try to end their life. So it is better that euthanasia remains a figment of  our imagination.

(Translated by B S Srivani)

"I am against active euthanasia. In our country, it is very difficult to implement it. We are always worried about its misuse, if permission for it is given. We cannot give life to someone, so we cannot be allowed to take it. Between two evils of active and passive euthanasia, I think, the lesser should be allowed but under certain circumstances only, otherwise it would open a pandora’s box." 

Dr VASANTHA MUTHUSWAMY, former dy director general, Indian Council of Medical Research, who is regarded as ‘Queen of bioethics’.

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