Differentiate between "Passive Euthanasia"and "Living Will". Throw light on the ethical concerns involved in legalising these concepts in India.

Published: April 20, 2018

Passive Euthanasia” is defined as to withhold medical treatment and withdraw life sustaining devices from a terminally ill patient with deliberate intention to let the patient die.
Passive euthanasia occurs when the patient dies because the medical professionals either don’t do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or when they stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive.

  • switch off life-support machines
  • disconnect a feeding tube
  • don’t carry out a life-extending operation
  • don’t give life-extending drugs

Living Will” is an advance directive. It is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions.
Ethical concerns involved in legalising these concepts in India
These are against Medical Ethos- Medical Ethos refers to the beliefs of the medical community. They believe in trying their level best to save the patients even under extreme conditions. Passive Euthanasia and Living Will depict surrendering in front of diseases.
Religious concerns– Several religious communities are against euthanasia and are unwilling to accept the legalisation of same in the society. Muslims and Roman Catholic are strongly against euthanasia. Muslims believe that all human life is given by Allah and Allah decides how long one has to live. So, humans should not interfere in this. Similarly, Roman Catholic believe that special care should be taken of disabled and ill persons rather than allowing them to die through euthanasia.
Slippery slope to legalise murder and suicide– Legalising passive euthanasia and living will completely in the society may foster events like suicide and murder in the society.

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