I was reading Eddy’s blog on suicides and victims that tried to take their lives away and it brings back memories on an article that I wrote a few years back about mercy killing or Euthanasia.
For the benefit of all, let me publish it here as well. Of course, the writing here is more to a religion stand on the issue.
Euthanasia is being defined as the practice of ending the life of an individual or an animal who is suffering from a terminal disease or a chronically painful condition in a painless or minimally painful way either by lethal injection, drug overdose, or by the withdrawal of medical support.
Some of the differences in public attitudes towards the right to die debate stem from the diversity of religion around the world. The sanctity of human life is a basic value as decreed by God even before the times of Prophet Moses, Prophet Isa (Jesus) and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
There is absolutely no right in Islam to suicide. Since we did not create ourselves we do not own our bodies. We are entrusted with them for care, nurture and safe keeping.
During one of the military campaigns, one of the Muslims was killed and the companions of the prophet kept praising his gallantry and efficiency in fighting, but, to their surprise, the Prophet commented, “His lot is hell.”
Upon inquiry, the companions found out that the man had been seriously injured so he supported the handle of his sword on the ground and plunged his chest onto its tip, committing suicide.
The Shari’a do not include mercy killing or make allowance for it. Human life per se is a value
to be respected unconditionally, irrespective of other circumstances. The concept of a life not worthy of living does not exist in Islam.
Mercy killing, like suicide, finds no support except in the atheistic way of thinking that believes that our life on this earth is followed by void. The claim of killing for painful hopeless illness is also refuted, for there is no human pain that cannot be largely conquered by medication.
There is no disagreement that the financial cost of maintaining the incurably
ill and the senile is a growing concern. Some people claim that when the human machine has outlived its productive span its maintenance is an unacceptable burden on the productive stratum of society, and it should be disposed of, and rather abruptly than allowing it to
In short, if â€œmercy killingâ€ means relieving a patientâ€™s unbearable pain, then itâ€™s impermissible, because putting an end to manâ€™s life is illegal even if it is based on pity and sympathy.
And if mercy killing means putting an end to a patientâ€™s life to comfort his parents on the basis that he is going to die in the coming few days, then itâ€™s also impermissible because we are not authorized to rob him of his life even if one hour of survival is possible.
On the other hand, if mercy killing means brain death, when the patient is considered medically dead and when the possibility of the brainâ€™s re-functioning is less than one percent, then we can say that it is not a must to use the apparatus that elongates the bodyâ€™s life represented by the heart movement.
So, itâ€™s lawful to remove this device should the concerned doctor so decide. Itâ€™s also the duty of the parents to authorize the doctor to carry out the operation, for the doctor is not authorized to put an end to this manâ€™s life since the patient has a guardian, whom the doctor should refer to.
Islamic References taken from Euthanasia in Islam by Hadrat Ayatullah Sayyed Fadhlullah, Fatwa from Syeikh Yusuf Qardawi, and Leader of Nadhatul Ulama’, Kiyai Masdar F. Masudi.