Mercy Killing - Euthanasia

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 1, 2023, 14:58

Mercy Killings are an act of human compassion to help people experience death. This is often the case for terminally ill people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness such as obstructed bowel syndrome.

What is Mercy Killing?

Mercy Killing is an act of killing one individual to end their suffering, pain and misery.

To understand the definition of Mercy Killing, it is essential to know the difference between euthanasia and passive euthanasia.

In passive euthanasia, the patient's life is ended through refusal or withdrawal of medical treatment due to specific circumstances. In the case of euthanasia, the medical decision is made independently by a patient without the consent of those needing treatment.

In passive euthanasia, there may not be an intention for the agent's death; on the other hand, in euthanasia, there are usually deliberate actions that lead up to death. Mercy Killing occurs typically when an individual has been given a time frame or a time limit and decides that they would like their life to end before this date.

Issues of Mercy Killing in India

Mercy Killing is one of the most tragic and sorrowful events in a human being's life.

It is estimated that more than 25,000 people die at their own hands each year. Most of these deaths are committed by older adults, though there has been a reported increase in young people who have chosen to commit suicide rather than go through college or university.

The act of suicide (no matter the reason) can be seen as selfish, but why is it seen as suitable for an individual to end their life, yet for another, it is illegal and frowned upon? What if an individual has been facing the same fate as another in a similar health scenario and decides to take matters into their own hands and end their life? In India, this would be considered illegal and punishable by law.

Concerns with Mercy Killing

Mercy Killing should be explained and discussed in more detail because sometimes family members may feel that the person euthanized did not fully understand what was happening to them on their deathbed.

Another problem that is often experienced is the guilt of the agent who has been involved in this act. The agent may feel guilty for causing another person to handle this suffering, especially if it was not their intention.

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When caring for a caretaker or loved one who has committed Mercy Killing, it is essential to be compassionate and understanding and help them through this pain and suffering on their deathbed. It is also vital for family members to understand that although these individuals may have decided how they want their final days on earth, it does not mean that they have chosen suicide.

Mercy Killing is a complicated subject to discuss. We need to understand what this means and its purpose so that we can be more compassionate with these individuals who may have chosen it themselves.

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FAQs on Mercy Killing

Q1. What is Mercy Killing?

Mercy Killing or passive euthanasia is an act of ending the suffering of another person who has a terminal illness. The decision to perform this act must be made by the doctor, patient, or family members.

Q2. What is the difference between Mercy Killing and passive euthanasia?

Mercy Killing is an act to end a person's suffering from a terminal illness, while passive euthanasia is when a person passively accepts their death instead of ending it with active help.

Q3. How is Mercy Killing related to terminal illness?

A terminal illness that cannot be cured medically or surgically will result in death. In such cases, Mercy Killing is adopted. It can be caused by cancer, heart disease, and HIV, among other life-threatening diseases.

Q4. How should a family member deal with Mercy Killing?

The family members need to remain supportive and try to understand what their loved one may have been going through at the decision. Also, it is important to remember that even though this individual has made this decision, they may not have intended to commit suicide which can cause guilt for years to come.

Q5. What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is an act that ends someone's life, and it must be done with premeditated intentions. A doctor can do this, and it is considered murder if the intent was not for Mercy Killing purposes.