Introduction: What is Mercy Killing?
Mercy killing, or Euthanasia (Greek, means good killing), is the practice of intentionally ending a life
in order to relieve pain and suffering. Euthanasia is the deliberate advancement of a person's death
for the benefit of that person.
A person who undergoes euthanasia is usually terminally ill. Euthanasia can be carried out either
by doing something, such as administering a lethal injection or providing treatment which aims to
bring forward the death day of the patient (Active Euthanasia), or by not doing something
necessary to keep the person alive, for example failing to keep their feeding tube going,
withdrawing life-sustaining apparatus or failing to provide life-saving drugs (Passive Euthanasia).
These are the two types of mercy killing and the moral and legal reference toward them is different.
Active Euthanasia is prohibited in most of the countries, whereas the moral and legal discussion is
regarding passive Euthanasia.
Mercy killing history in Canada
- Canadian Parliament abolishes suicide and attempted suicide as crimes under the criminal
- First pro-euthanasia group (Dying With Dignity) is founded in Canada.
- Law Reform Commission of Canada release Report on Euthanasia, Aiding Suicide and
Cessation of Treatment & recommend decriminalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
- Law Reform Commission releases proposed changes to Criminal Code & recommend that
mercy killing get treated as 2nd-degree rather than 1st-degree murder (premeditated).
What are the conditions to implement Mercy Killing?
• The patient is suffering from a terminal illness and is close to death. Modern medicine and
Technology cannot help in his case.
• The patient has an extreme and unbearable pain.
• Doctors and patients must also be sure that there are no other ways to relieve the patient's
pain and suffering in order to use “Euthanasia“.
Arguments against: Why should not mercy killing be legalized?
It is not moral to end the patient’s life because he has the right to live longer
Patients that are in comas and have not indicated that they wish to die have the right to
continue their lives until the natural end. Who are we to say that they should die when it is
convenient for us? That should be left unto God to decide. We cannot do whatever to our
bodies, since they are not our own. God made us and knows what we need here on earth, so
that we, someday, may enter into eternity. God, being the author of life, alone has the right
to create and destroy life. No human person has this right to take innocent human life, no
matter how one tries to justify it. Sanctity of life
Religious and secular morality decrees that no one has the right to take the life of another
human being. A principle that is stated in the Jewish Bible: "[Dvarim, chapter Lamed] See,
today I [God] am placing in front of you the life and good, the death and evil. Therefore
choose the life in order to you and your descendents will live.” This instructs us that if a
creator has created an individual then the creator and only the creator will decide whether
we live or die so that we cannot take matters into our own hands. The sanctity of life is an
objective value, cannot be discussed and subjected to personal choice and is at the top
hierarchy of values.
It is a murder
Euthanasia cannot be a matter of self-determination and personal beliefs, because it is an
act that requires two people to make it possible and a complicit society to make it
acceptable. They consider euthanasia the equivalent of murder, which is against the law in
any civilized society.
Moreover, there is a ‘slippery sloping’ affect (a metaphor, that although a step can be
worthy of itself, it can lead to a series of consequences that at the end will have a negative
effect); In other words, another argume