EUTHANASIAA POWER POINT PRESENTAION BY DEPARTMENT OF FORENSIC DR. SANGEETA CHOWDHRYY & MEDICINE & TOXICOLGY, GMC, DR.SUNIL SHARMA JAMMU
EUTHANASIA The term Euthanasiaoriginated from the Greekword for "good death." Itis defined as intentionalkilling by act or omission, of adependent human being forhis or her alleged benefit. Itliterally means mercy killingor putting a person topainless death especially incase of incurable suffering orwhen life becomespurposeless as a result ofmental or physical handicap.
EUTHANASIA-TYPES Passive Euthanasia: To end a person life by not taking the necessary and ordinary action to maintain life. This can be done by withdrawing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures. There are some medical actions which are often described as passive euthanasia. These Active Euthanasia: When acts include not commencing treatmentthe death is intentionally which would have not provided relief to the patient, or withdrawing treatment thatcaused. To end a persons has been found to be ineffective, toolife by use of drugs, burdensome, unwanted, or prescribing high doses of pain killers that canwhether by oneself or with endanger life of the patient.the aid of a physician Such actions are part of standard medical practice. Since in these actions, there is no intention to kill the person, some workers do not consider it as euthanasia. Thus, euthanasia is not there till there is intention to kill.
EUTHANASIA-TYPESVoluntary Euthanasia - Physician-Assisted Suicide -When a competent person Suicide accomplished withmakes a voluntary and the aid of a medicalenduring request to be doctor intentionallyhelped to die. providing a person with anInvoluntary Euthanasia - overdose of prescriptionTo end a persons life medication.without their knowledge or Assisted Suicide - Suicideconsent accomplished with the aid of another person.
EUTHANASIAThe question of euthanasia arises on three occasions i.e. (1) at the beginning of life—at birth(2) at the end of life – terminal stage(3) when a person is severely impaired as a result of brain damage – unforeseen mishap.
OBJECTIVES OF LIFEThe main purpose of life isto be happy, to makeothers happy if possible, togrow old gracefully and diewith dignity. The mainduty of the doctor is torelieve pain and sufferingeven if the measures hetakes may incidentallyshorten life.
AT BIRTHThe problem arise in the case of aphysically or mentally handicapinfant. Since the infant is not able tomake his own decisions; the mattersrests with the parents or doctors,aided or confused by the law of land.The decision should be based on thequality of life the child can expectand its consequent impact on theparents, society, and the resources ofthe State. The blessings of earlypainless death can be balancedagainst the purposeless life, theprobable suffering of the child, andits consequent impacts. In addition,the care of the child after death ofparents also needs consideration.
TERMINAL STAGEThe conscious dying patient can make his own decision. The refusal to consent to any treatment whatsoever always rests with the patient. There is no moral obligation on the doctor to preserve life at any cost and if, in the course of good terminal care, the use of drugs actually hastens death it would not amount to crime or malpractice because the ensuring death would be the result of natural causes.
UNFORESEEN MISHAPIf a person is severely impaired as a result ofbrain damage; it is now possible to sustainlife, but in a state of animation, by artificialmeans. The brain death can be as oconsequence of violence, poisioning ornatural causes. In all these cases, the brainsuffers from hypoxic damage from which itcannot recover, irrespective of treatmentgiven. When medical treatment has nothingto offer to the ailing patient, the patient canbe allowed to die in comfort and with dignity.In all such case one wonders whether thetreatment given is prolonging death or life. Insuch cases for practical purposes, the patientis dead and the decision to continue orterminate artificial means of support to lifeshould depend upon the subsequent use ofthe body for transplant purposes, if possible.Such a step would also save the resources ofthe State for more rational uses.
REASONS OF EUTHANASIAUnbearable Pain: It isa major argument in favourof euthanasia. In terminalcases of cancer, anindividual may suffer fromunbearable pain even withthe use of pain killers. Butwith the use of new drugsand treatment, much ofpain can be significantlyreduced.
REASONS OF EUTHANASIARight to CommitSuicide: Most workerswho support the doctrineof euthanasia believe thatevery person should havethe right to commitsuicide. But, if logicallythought about, in this casethere is no right of suicideas the act is done byanother person and thusamounts to murder.
REASONS OF EUTHANASIA Should a Person beforced to Stay Alive?An argument forwarded thatwhether vegetative lifeshould be allowed to be kepton perpetual basis evenagainst the wishes of thepatient. It is cruel andinhumane. But now law isclear in such cases. Law doesnot ask doctors to keepdeath away forever in thesecases.
REASONS AGAINST EUTHANASIAThe following reasons arecited against euthanasia’s:Definition of “TerminallyIll” is Not Conclusive: Theterm “terminally ill” issubjective and there can begross misuse in selectionof patients. It is also foundthat some terminally illpatients live for years ormonths together.
REASONS AGAINST EUTHANASIAMisuse by Hospitals toReduce Healthcare Cost:Some hospitals may havepatients, on whom theyhave to spend a lot ofmoney as they may beadmitted in intensive careunits for years, may bedeclared as terminally illand may be considered foreuthanasia.
REASONS AGAINST EUTHANASIAImportance and Value ofLife would be reduced inthe Eyes of People.
EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDENowadays, concept of assisted suicidehas also developed. The differencebetween euthanasia and assistedsuicide lies in who performs the last actto cause death. In euthanasia, it is otherperson who performs the last act whichcauses death. For example, when adoctor gives a lethal injection, it iscalled euthanasia. But in assistedsuicide, it is the person who himselfperforms the last act which causesdeath. For example, patient himselfinjects or drinks the poison provided bythe doctor for causing death. It is alsocalled as physician assisted suicide.
MEDICO-LEGAL SIGNIFICANCE Euthanasia in any form is not allowed in India. It is a punishable offence under PUNISHABLE Indian Penal Code and person who does it may be prosecuted under the sections OFFENCE of murder, assisting suicide, etc. UNDER INDIANIn some countries, however, it is legal. PENAL CODE Netherlands, Belgium, Oregon in the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Albania, Holland, Switzerland and Thailand are the only places in the world where laws permit euthanasia or assisted suicide. Some countries like Australia introduced it for some time but seeing its misuse, it was later repealed. Worldwide opinion is that it should not be made legal as it can be grossly abused.