According to Wikipedia mercy killing is the act of putting a person or animal to death or letting them die by withholding all their medical cures. They usually are suffering from a painful incurable disease and are thus left to die by their own. It is also referred to as euthanasia. Euthanasia the Greek word means good death, mercy killing is preferred in the case of medical situations. If any of our family people, the old persons are suffering from the painful, incurable diseases then the main motto of ours would be to relieve the person from their pain, their mental degeneration or any other adverse conditions. In this situation, mercy killing comes to dice.
Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include:
- Voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary
- Voluntary euthanasia- it is legal in some countries.
- Non-voluntary euthanasia (patient’s consent unavailable): it is illegal in all countries.
- Involuntary euthanasia (without asking consent or against the patient’s will): it is also illegal in all countries and is usually considered murder.
Legal consideration of mercy killing
- According to the encyclopedia of American law, mercy killing is considered as a criminal homicide. It is referred to as a homicide committed at the due request of the patient. It is thus a synonym to homicide.
- The term “homicide” includes any intervention undertaken to express intention of ending a life or even to relieve intractable suffering. Every homicide is not considered to be illegal. Justifiable and excusable homicides are the two homicides that carry no punishment. But this is not in every country, each one has its own rules.
- According to the University of Washington mercy killing generally means that the physician would act directly on the patient by giving some lethal injections and taking their lives. Thus a physician-assisted suicide is not to be considered illegal. It is legal according to the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. Withholding medical services of patients in much pain to let them have a peaceful death with the patient’s consent is also considered to be legal at least at the United States.
- The use of lethal medications to give death though harasses but still is considered to be legal. Voluntary homicides are made legal around some of the governments but it is still considered to be a criminal offence at many places.
- Supreme Court of India has made passive euthanasia legalized. According to the constitution of India, it values liberty, dignity, autonomy, and privacy. Chief justice Dipak Mishra delivered this unanimous judgment.