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jaya punjabi (doing practices)     25 May 2012

Mercy killing

Mercy killing: Legal Murder


Meaning of Mercy Killing


Mercy killing is the deliberate ending of  life of an individual who is suffering from a terminal illness or incurable disease.


Mercy killing is also called euthanasia. The term euthanasia was derived from the Greek word “eu” and “thanatos” which means “good death” or “easy death”.

This is controversial question-whether the mercy killing should be legalized or not.


The legalization of mercy killing would be dangerous to the society from following point of view:-

1. Legalization of mercy killing would produce huge social pressure on every vulnerable   person to give volunteer consent for mercy killing.


2. Mercy killing is going to be misused in the hands of unscrupulous people who have the power or support of the law behind.


3. Mercy killing reduces the value of the life.                                                                                         


4. Mercy killing might be abused by some families to get property they may ask doctor to kill the eldest family person by this method. In such case only the patient will be victim.


5. Mercy killing is unnatural termination of life whether an attempt to suicide, assisted suicide is illegal


R v Inglis [2010] CA
The appellant was mother of the victim. She D injected her son with a fatal dose of heroin where he had suffered catastrophic brain damage after falling from an ambulance. She had anticipated that his life would otherwise be ended painfully by the withdrawal of treatment and hydration.

Held: The law of murder did not distinguish between murder committed for malevolent reasons and murder motivated by familial love. Subject to well established partial defences, like provocation or diminished responsibility, mercy killing was murder.

Guilty of murder:  The appeal against sentence was allowed to the extent that the minimum term of nine years was reduced to five years.



6. Mercy killing itself is suicide; suicide is undoubtedly illegal in India under section 309 of IPC, which provides punishment for attempt to commit suicide as unconstitutional.


7. Mercy killing involves the unethical of doctor‘s practice because doctor giving aid in the death of patient it is called “physician assisted suicide”.


8. There is no fool-proof mechanism that shall prevent the abuse of the law of legalizing mercy killing.


9. Mercy killing might be begun to be the selective killing of those who are old or sick.


10. Mercy killing will be legalized murder to get rid of the unwanted people.


11. Many religion forbid this because life is a blessing or a curse no body has any right to make a decision on his own behalf or somebody else’s behalf to shorten it.


 12. It will become option for the member of patient family.


Conclusion: - Hence it is concluded that there are certain circumstances where the mercy killing can be allowed. But at the same time by allowing the mercy killing on the other side of the coin that there may be the chance of misuse or overuse of it and sometimes there may be a threat to the life. If we allow the mercy killing it may reduce the value of the life.


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