Thursday, March 24, 2011

Euthanasia conference in India determines that the risk for abuse is great

An article that was published yesterday in The Times of India reports on a conference that examined the euthanasia issue from the perspective of leaders in India. The article was titled: Risk of misusing euthanasia large: Experts

The article stated:
Terming euthanasia an inhuman practice, experts from various fields unanimously declared that it should not be practised anywhere in the world.

Delivering the keynote address at a symposium on euthanasia organized by the Shubhada Society in association with the Bethany Social Service Trust, Dr Prabha Adhikari, Professor of Medicine at Kasturba Medical College, said the Supreme Court verdict which denied euthanasia for Aruna Shanbaug is a favourable decision as far as the medical fraternity is concerned. "No doctor will be willing to kill a patient by administering lethal medicines under any circumstance, as it is against ethics." ...

Dr Adhikari questioned the undue emphasis on euthanasia when there are palliative care centres for the elderly and ill across the country. While doctors in the west order Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) for terminally ill patients, hospitals in India continue to insist on providing life support facilities even though there is no hope of survival, she noted.

Further, she warned that the government needs to be cautious on euthanasia as it may be misused once legalised. Relatives, who have enmity with the patient, can misuse the rules by requesting for euthanasia, she added.

Richard Alvares, Graduate Assistant of St Raymonds High School, Vamanjoor, said the Constitution of India ensures only the right to live and it does not allow citizens the right to die.

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