What is Euthanasia

Euthanasia or mercy killing means the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable degenerating disease to relieve suffering. It is done by the attending physician by giving a fatal dose of a suitable drug.

This term is quite debatable as people have different perspectives about it. Some people believe that it is something which relieves the pain of those who are suffering while others believe that it is an unnatural way of dying.

In many countries, there is a public controversy over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of euthanasia. Let us learn about the different types of euthanasia and their positive and negative aspects.

Learn about Euthansia in detail.

Types of Euthanasia

Voluntary euthanasia: It means euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient. It is legal in countries like the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Columbia.

Non-voluntary euthanasia: It means euthanasia conducted where consent of the patient is not available. It is illegal in all countries.

Involuntary euthanasia: It means euthanasia conducted against the will of the patient. It is considered murder.

These can be further classified into two categories:

1. Passive euthanasia: In this, certain medications and common treatments that prolong life are stopped leading to the death of the patient.

2. Active euthanasia: In this, doses of certain suitable drugs are given to kill the patient and it is the most controversial means of euthanasia.

Positive Aspects

  • Everyone has the right to determine their own fate. A person should be allowed to decide whether he should live or not as for some living is much more painful than dying.
  • Giving assistance to die is much better than letting someone suffer from a chronic degenerative disease.

  • Euthanasia gives way for organ donation. People who are in need of urgent organ transplantation can be helped by people whose disease has no cure and are eventually going to die soon.

  • It is really expensive to keep people alive especially when there is no hope. Euthanasia can help save precious resources for those patients who can be cured.

  • The caregiver of the patient and other family members are in extreme burden in various domains like financial, mental, physical and emotional state. On one hand there is a huge expense of medical treatments and medications and on the other hand there is fear of loss of a beloved family member.

  • Death is a private matter and the state should not interfere with the decision a patient takes as what the patient is going through might be much more painful and traumatizing than dying in peace.

  • Euthanasia lets a person die in dignity by having control of the situation he/she is in.

  • In our society, putting down animals who are in immense pain and suffering is considered an act of kindness then why isn’t the same thing done for humans.

  • The family and friends of the patient are in immense pain by seeing their loved one suffer a long degenerating death.

  •  Euthanasia is painless and lets the patient die peacefully without going through numerous medical treatments and medications which eventually lead to a lot of expenses and little or no improvement in the condition of the patient.

Negative Aspects

  • Euthanasia brings down the importance and value of human life. It makes dying look so easy that the respect and sanctity of life in society weakens.

  • Euthanasia is an easy way to get rid of people who are terminally ill. This will not only discourage the need to find new cures and treatments for terminally ill patients but also underestimate the commitment of doctors and nurses to save lives.

  • Patients who have good financial background and a wealthy life might be killed by their own children or enemies for selfish reasons through euthanasia.

  • Belief in god for curing ill patients will be lost. God’s miracle to save lives is not considered in euthanasia and thus many religions are against it due to this reason. They believe that it is God who gave us life and only he can take it away. This contradicts the concept of euthanasia.

  • Euthanasia is a cost-effective way to treat the terminally ill. Doctors might not take appropriate steps to treat the patients as they have an easy and cheap alternative. This may lead to less trust between doctors and patients as a lot of power is given in the hand of doctors.

  • Legalizing voluntary euthanasia might lead to involuntary euthanasia which is killing patients who are undesirable or seen as a problem.

  • Euthanasia rules out the possibility of unexpected recovery. It assumes that there is no hope for a terminally ill patient to recover but there have been many cases where patients have recovered from chronic illness and have lived their lives peacefully.

Get a glimpse of these cases of euthanasia.


Euthanasia is a debatable topic and determining what is wrong and right is quite difficult. There are many cases where euthanasia has proven to be helpful whereas it has been a cause of concern as well.

Legal actions towards euthanasia done with selfish motives should be taken but ruling out euthanasia as a way of dying should not be done as it might help people in pain and suffering who want to die a peaceful and dignified death. Euthanasia is done in a controlled and legal way along with considering people’s perspectives about it is important and necessary.

Learn about some of these interesting facts about euthanasia.

Written By - Aarushi Jain

Edited By - Khaled

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