There exists a strong question today whether a patient who has lost all powers of reasoning and who lives like a vegetable, totally hopeless and helpless, a terminal case who only wants to die, be forced to live’? The number of people who are asking this question increases each day. Although the official position of the medical profession is to maintain life, regardless of the condition of the patient, but with certain cases, euthanasia should be administered.
We are living in an age of medical miracles. Medicine has made a lot of progress, throughout the world, patients who are critically ill are kept alive by the use of defibrillators, respirators, pacemakers and other similar equipment. When an EEG reading shows what is known as “flat line” the person, is officially dead. What this actually means is that although there may not be any brain activity, other vital organs can work by means of certain equipment. Now heart and lung machines can augment the duration of life and the numerous cocktail of drugs can prolong the course of life through most illnesses.
While the desire and hence the option to live is the preference of the people, even those critically ill, the option to die should also be available to those suffering from excruciating pain and or whom the artificial prolongation of life and a vegetable like existence is a mental agony and torture and hence would strongly desire to put an end to their sufferings. For such persons to exercise their right to put an end to their agony, euthanasia should be legalized.