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The Hindu Editorial : Should Euthanasia Be Allowed?

Mahendra Guru

The Hindu Editorial :The Arc To Southeast Asia

Title: Should euthanasia be allowed?

The Lavates’ request is unlikely to be heeded as India is not comfortable with the idea

• Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.

• Passive euthanasia means withdrawing life support to induce death in a natural way.

• Active euthanasia means injecting legal drugs to induce death.


• Article 21 of the Constitution gives me the right to life.

• Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes punishment for attempting suicide. 

• Narayan Lavate (88) and Iravati Lavate (78) from Maharashtra say that they do not wish to be a burden on society in their old age. 

• They wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, hoping for a favourable response to plea of “mercy death” or physician-assisted suicide.

• Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India (2011) brought the issue of euthanasia into the public domain. Aruna was in a permanently vegetative state since the brutal sexual attack on her in 1973 by a ward boy in Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital where she worked as a staff nurse.

• The 2011 judgment helped to push the debate to the extent of permitting passive euthanasia for terminally ill patients under the strict supervision of the High Court, in consultation with a team of doctors treating the terminally ill patient.


• This is a complex issue in every society and the chances of its misuse are high.

• Euthanasia for those who are mentally alert, though physically disabled, is a big no.

• The probability of its misuse — whether it is demanded for property, money, or because of animosity among family members — is very high.

• In some developed countries, donations after cardiac deaths are increasing. Seventy percent of organ donations come from such patients.


• There exists no legislation laying down the procedure to permit a person to take her own life.

• Petitions for euthanasia filed by persons who do not wish to live, or by relatives on behalf of those who suffer extreme pain or incurable affliction. 

• Petitions also extend to asking for permission to terminate unwanted, accidental or dangerous pregnancies.

• The courts become arbiters of the fate of such people.

• Thousands of farmers in Vidarbha took their lives when faced with a dehumanising existence.

• When a person chooses to end her life because she can no longer live with dignity, the question to be asked is not whether he can waive her constitutional right to life, but whether he has a right to choice. 

Vocabulary words:

• Resurrect (verb) = Restore to life, revive or revitalize (मरे हुए को जीवित करना)

• Hankering (noun) = a strong desire to have or do something (चाह) 

• Egalitarian (adjective) = believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

(noun) a person who advocates or supports the principle of equality for all people.


Strife(noun) = conflict (मतभेद, झगड़ा) 

Aversion(noun) = a strong dislike or disinclination (घृणा)

Malignancy(noun) = Distortion (नुक़सानदेहता)

Quadriplegic(noun) = a person affected by paralysis of all four limbs (सभी चार अंगों के पक्षाघात से प्रभावित व्यक्ति)

Sacrosanct(adjective) = regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with (पवित्र, पावन) 

Relinquishes(verb) = voluntarily cease to keep or claim 


• Out-and-out: complete or in every way; पूरा 

used to emphasize an unpleasant quality of a person or thing:

-That's an out-and-out lie!

-The whole project was an out-and-out disaster.

• Kith and kin: people you are connected with, especially by family relationships,

(मित्र ओर रिश्तेदार)

- I sent cards to my kith and kin, telling them of my arrival.

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