My opinion

By Mr. Mohamed Najimudeen
Corresponding Author Mr. Mohamed Najimudeen
Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Melaka Manipal Medical College, Malaysia, Jalan Batu Hampar, Bukit Baru - Malaysia 75150
Submitting Author Mr. Mohamed M Najimudeen


Najimudeen M. Euthanasia. WebmedCentral MEDICAL ETHICS 2013;4(2):WMC00971
doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2013.00971

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Submitted on: 09 Feb 2013 11:19:16 AM GMT
Published on: 09 Feb 2013 11:44:26 AM GMT

My opinion

Euthanasia or mercy killing is a sensational issue all over the world. Is it a clean murder Or is it to alleviate the sufferings of a dying patient who cannot be cured This argument continues from the time of Francis Bacon who lived in 17th century.

Euthanasia is classified in many ways.

1. Voluntary , Non-voluntary and involuntary Euthanasia

2. Active and  passive euthanasia and

3. Positive and negative euthanasia.

1. Voluntary  euthanasia
a. Voluntary euthanasia is defined as the death is caused with the consent of the patient. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead.

b. Non-voluntary euthanasia: The death is induced where the consent of the patient is not available. Examples include child euthanasia  

c. Involuntary euthanasia: The euthanasia conducted against the will of the patient
2. Active and passive euthanasia:
a. Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces to kill and is the most controversial means. An individual may use a euthanasia device to perform active voluntary euthanasia on himself or herself.

b. Passive euthanasia: Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life. Whether the administration of increasingly necessary, albeit toxic doses of opioid analgesia is regarded as active or passive euthanasia is a matter of moral interpretation, but in order to pacify doctors' consciences, it is usually regarded as a passive measure

3 Positive and Negative Euthanasia

Positive euthanasia refers to the actions that actively causes death Negative euthanasia is withdrawing the life supports.

Religious views:

Islamic view: Killing a person in Islamic perspective  amounts to death penalty. The duty of the doctor and the relatives to take care of a patient and not to kill a person. However if the doctor believes that the condition of the patient  is terminal and the patient is suffering in agony, the doctor can withdraw the life support with the consent of the relatives.

There is no place to give medications to kill a patient (1) The Christian stand on euthanasia has always been against any form of euthanasia or assisted suicide. Pope John Paul II wrote in The Gospel of Life, “ I confirm that euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a person. This doctrine is based on the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”(2) The whole concept of euthanasia is incompatible with the Hindu ethos. It should never be encouraged but rather other dignified and moral means to care for the terminally ill have to be employed.(3) "As a general rule, both Hinduism and Buddhism oppose suicide as an act of destroying life. However, a distinction is made in both traditions between self-regarding (or self-destructive) reasons and other-regarding (or compassionate) motives for seeking death... Those who assist in [a] suicide may be subject to karmic punishment, for they have violated the basic principle of ahimsa

However, a very different perspective emerges when individuals seek death for spiritual motives, of which there are basically two kinds. The first revolves around compassion; concern for the welfare of others as one is dying can be seen as a sign of spiritual enlightenment. So a person can decide to forego treatment to avoid imposing a heavy burden of care giving on family or friends. He or she may also stop treatment to relieve loved ones of the emotional or economic distress of prolonged dying...(4)

Why Euthanasia?

Euthanasia will help to relieve the suffering of the patient and their relatives. If a patient is suffering in agony due to unbearable pain and the condition cannot be cured the patient and the relatives should have an alternative.

Why not euthanasia?

This can be abused by doctors and relatives. Relatives with vested interests like wealth inheritance can easily influence a compassionate doctor. Some doctors may make” right to die” as” right to kill”

Conclusion: When a patient is suffering from severe pain during the terminal illness the relations and the caring doctor should be able to decide without any vested interest. Die with dignity and  right to kill are  phrases for media discussion. Each case should be decided on its own merit without general cover up


1. Francis Bacon: the major works By Francis Bacon, Brian Vickers pp 630.
2. Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=1119503543386#ixzz0yd8kEhPX
3. Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life in Michael M.Uhlmann ed, Last Rights : Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Debated (Grand Rapids, MI :  Eerdmanns, 1998 ) p. 229
4. Bimal Krishna Das, former General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK), was quoted in an Oct. 19, 2005 Hindustan Times article, "Protests over Proposed Legalisation of Euthanasia":
5. Courtney S. Campbell, PhD, Professor of Ethics, Science, and the Environment in the Department of Philosophy at Oregon State University, wrote in a Jan. 2000 UNESCO Courier article titled "Euthanasia and Religion":

Source(s) of Funding

No funding

Competing Interests

No competing interests


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2 reviews posted so far

Critique of Euthanasia by Mr. Mohamed Najimudeen
Posted by Anonymous Reviewer on 11 Feb 2013 02:02:09 AM GMT

Letter to the Editor on Euthanasia
Posted by Dr. Animesh Jain on 10 Feb 2013 01:21:45 PM GMT

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