This is Part Two of a two-part series. See Part Two here.
The controversial debate on Euthanasia or mercy killing is periodically revived by its proponents. They believe that death is the only dignified way out of a situation that is incurable and fraught with much pain and suffering.
This subject has cropped up again because Pinky Virani, author of the book Aruna’s Story, petitioned the Supreme Court to sanction Euthanasia for Aruna Shanbagh. She is a nurse who has been lying in a vegetative state for the last 37 years. Virani argued that prolonging such a life was in contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees a life with dignity. The least one could do was to accord her dignity in death by Euthanasia.
What Virani asked for was not death by lethal injection or drugs, but a gradual tapering off of nutrition, which would lead to her death. The Supreme Court’s decision to permit Passive Euthanasia, in this case, has generated a lot of discussion between proponents and opponents, though the ruling is still pending legislation.
Obviously, the general consensus is against mercy killing. While we leave it to the legal experts and medical activists to quarrel over the implications of the judgment, it is our Christian responsibility to affirm our stand on this important issue. Our debate should take place within the context of our religious beliefs. Pro-Life is our distinctive Christian ethic, and it is on this surmise that we build our arguments regarding Euthanasia.