Mercy Killing: No Mercy!

“If not live, then let me die in peace with dignity.” These would have been my words, if I had been in place of Aruna Shanbaug, a sufferer since 37 years. I wonder what better would have she asked for, if she was able to speak. In fact I pose this question to all who read this, what would have you asked for… a bedridden life full of sufferings with a tragic end or a tragic life that ends peacefully?

37 days on bed for a diseased person is like an unending sorrow. Here, it’s not just about days or months but spending whole life. Think over it! A lady who has already spent her entire life suffering and waiting for someone to take a stand on her life, why are we then hesitant to relieve her of her pains. Yes, I’m talking about the most debated topic, Euthanasia or Mercy Killing.

Once again the discussion has evolved on the subject but I am surprised to see the historic judgment of the H’ble Supreme Court, where the judges diligently pass ambivalent orders of passive euthanasia. For all those who would wonder what an active-passive in case of mercy killing stands for; as there can be two possible options–a person is either left to suffer or granted a blissful death. But here, passive killing is not about that. It allows you to take away the life supports, one-by-one, instead of injecting and killing someone at one go, only at the discretion of the doctor. My question here is does the two differ? Definitely one is a prolonged killing and your sufferings are elongated and another is the immediate relief but the end result remains the same in either of the cases.

Mercy killing is not a life taker but a life giver. It gives a chance of rebirth and frees a tortured soul. It’s quite obvious that such laws do not come in form, probably because people misuse them in the long run but aren’t such souls suppose to be liberated? When a doctor can decide the appropriateness of giving a passive killing treatment why isn’t he judicious enough to decide the special cases of active euthanasia. Do we doubt the capability of our system as a whole?

A girl like Aruna, who had lived a normal life of up to 20-25 years of her life before the mishap; destined to struggle with each breath for more than what she had lived. After such a misfortune, she had still struggled enough and conquered the battle of her life. Any dignified woman would want to live on her own. Someone who has been taken care of, fed, cleansed at the mercy of others just because some traumatic experience led her to such vegetative state, is being tormented further. If we do not have the authority to take away somebody’s life, how humane is it to force someone to live and die a painful death?

I would have preferred death over life in such a case. Not because I can’t take life as it is but because there are better ways to live. Having heard so much of incarnation, I would have definitely given myself another chance rather than facing hopelessness and knowing the consequences of the battle with life. I believe that’s not a suicide but optimism of dying a better death, if there’s no option of living a better life. But my question here again is how to fight helplessness? I want to be on my own and take care of people like Aruna who are not given the right to choose. Who says, being helpless due to uncontrollable circumstances, takes away your right to choose. The judgment passed is definitely “No Mercy!” for Aruna.


  1. If the killing wouldn't free tormented souls of pain, wouldn't give relief from the suffering to incurable patients and let them die peacefully instead of leaving them for a prolonged death only to deteriorate day by day – 'mercy' would not be a prefix to this killing. Aruna must be given this mercy to end her suffering and die to cure her soul from the disease. Good thought & thoughtfully advocated Euthanasia. well done, Anu


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