Across the globe doctors, legal authorities, religious leaders, relatives of patients in critical conditions and patients battling for life themselves are concerned about the issue about of doctor-assisted suicide. Whether or not doctor-assisted suicide can ever be justified as a compassionate response towards the voluntary elimination of a person’s life is a major source of concern in today’s world. Generally, euthanasia has been termed as a process of ‘assisted suicide’ upon someone who is under severe medical conditions and the probability of survival is almost zero. This is a reason why euthanasia has also been tagged as a form of mercy killing for the benefit of the patients themselves. Many individuals believe that life is a very sacred and gifted thing and by taking it away it can be tagged as murder, other people, however have different views. They believe that a person’s life is his own and he/she has the right to do whatever he/she wants with their life, even if it calls for termination (1).
The name Terri Schiavo should ring a bell in every person’s mind. It has been the most renowned cases in the history of America regarding doctor-assisted suicide. Teri, at the age of 26 was diagnosed with a neurological condition called PVS also known as the persistent vegetative state according to which she was practically brain dead. Teri’s parents fought against her husband and were adamant to let her live on the feeding tube even though she was in a vegetative state. The husband, however, stated that Teri would not want to survive in this condition and that pulling the plug is the best solution to all the pain and suffering she is being put through (2). More than a decade, the patient was fed through feeding tube and was on bed.
After a furious battle in the court since 1998, Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge in Florida ordered the feeding tube to be removed on the 18th of March 2005