Parul Sharma

A new book addresses the moral debate on the issue

NEW DELHI: Analysing the moral dilemmas involved in euthanasia, a new book discusses the practice of medically-assisted death that derives its name from “Eu” (good) and “thanasia” (death), meaning thereby good death.

Manasvini Madhubhashini Yogi, a senior reader in the Department of Philosophy at Delhi University’s Indraprastha College for Women, has authored the book “Euthanasia -- Its Moral Implications” that was released this past week. The book discusses from a philosophical point of view what is a “person” and at what stage and condition in life a human organism ceases to be a “person”.

The definition of euthanasia and types of euthanasia are also discussed. The other issues include the definition of “death” and the situations in which the decision to terminate life can be taken. It discusses if an act of euthanasia is justifiable or not.

More relevant now

“The advancement in the field of medical science and technology has made the issue of euthanasia more relevant and important for the present day society to discuss. Life-saving machines and drugs are helping the patients who become incapable of leading their lives independently to live artificially,” says Dr. Yogi.

“We are prolonging a life that is full of pain and suffering. This suffering of the ‘person’ forces us to think as to how far we are morally justified to help such patients to go on living a useless, helpless and painful life,” she reasons.

While analysing the issue, the author feels one should keep the interests and benefit of the people in mind.

“When one decides that a particular case is a case of euthanasia, then not only the ‘net benefit’ of the patient should be borne in mind, but also the ‘general benefit’ of society and individuals looking after the patient should be taken into consideration,” she argues.