Srinagar, March 27: While the Supreme Court of India recently legalized assisted dying (euthanasia), Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday described the ruling “unethical”.
“Allowing euthanasia is against the moral principles of the medical profession”, said DAK President Dr. Nisar ul Hassan in a communique.
“The apex court on March 9 permitted euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately killing a terminally-ill patient,” he said.
DAK President said the directive will change the nature of medical profession and role of doctors in the society.
“The objective of medicine is to cure, care and alleviate patient suffering, but when the focus changes from curing the condition to killing the individual with the condition, the whole process is threatened,” he said.
“The basic role of a doctor is to save lives, not to help them die,” he added.
Dr Nisar said legalizing assisted dying would place pressure on elderly, disabled, sick and depressed to end their lives for fear of being financial, emotional or care burden on others.
He said sometimes patients diagnosed with terminal recover or live much longer than expected. On occasion, medical breakthroughs occur which dramatically alter the chances of a patient to enjoy a longer lifespan than predicted.
“With options available to alleviate pain and suffering of terminally-ill and advances in palliative care, there is no justification to end a life of an individual,” Dr. Nisar said.
He said euthanasia is against the intrinsic dignity and value of human life. Human life must be respected regardless of age, gender, race, religion, social status or potential for success. Life is good in and of itself not just as a means to achieve an end.
“Euthanasia is against all religions. Life is a sacred gift from God and it is not us to decide when it should end. We are stewards, not owners of life God has entrusted to us,” said Dr. Nisar.
Dr Riyaz Ahmad Daga