Euthanasia, some call it good death while some say it is no better than physician assisted suicide. According to Hindu scriptures, helping an individual to end a painful life is a good deed by fulfilling moral obligations. But by helping to end a life that has to endure suffering as the fruits of the past life deeds one is disturbing the synchronous cycle of death and rebirth.
Suffering is to be endured with because it is what I need to bear with for the deeds in my previous birth. I should never ask “Why me?” simply because I did not asked so when I had enjoyed the pleasures. Pain and pleasure are to be equally experienced if I know that they are the resultant fruit for what I had done. I need to accept them with open hands as I am the doer and I need to be the enjoyer as well.
Once a donor visited an old age home to view and make some donation. The in-charge of the old age took the gentleman around to show how the old age home was managed and maintained. After having a look at the office, garden, kitchen and ward they went into a room of an old lady in a vegetable state.
The in-charge said, “We have to feed her and clean her she is in this state for more than a year. She is undergoing the suffering and we pray Him to end the suffering. The staff who are here and I take care of her we do it as the duty commanded by the Lord above.”
After signing a cheque and handing it over to the in-charge and walking back to his car the donor told to the in-charge, “Sir, I do agree with you that it is the fate of the old woman in the vegetable state to suffer but she does not feel it any more the more sufferers are we, who think she is the sufferer. Suffering does not confine to one person alone, the people around also undergo it and it is the design of the Karma such and so”.
The in-charge went into contemplation after that he never said that the inmates were suffering.
An individual has two trust worthy friends in life, one is Knowledge and the other is Death. Knowledge is something that is beneficial and a requirement in life, while Death is inevitable sometimes even unexpected.
Euthanasia is not an act of sin but it is worldly attachment which causes it to be looked upon as an act of sin. We have heard and read of many who have voluntarily stopped taking food and medicine when they sense that their existence needs an end. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar the activist, politician, poet, writer and playwright who was responsible for many reforms in Hindu culture refused food, water and the medicine which were prescribed to keep him alive and he died on the 25th day on February 26 1966. When there are few who can consciously decide on issues like this some are not so fortunate they live it for the relatives and the physicians to decide, but the unanswered question is what is the degree of suffering which makes one eligible for Euthanasia? More importantly is it the degree of suffering in the patient or the intolerance to look after the sick which decides?????