The issue of euthanasia or mercy killing is a topic of wide debate in the world for a long time. Especially in the country that euthanasia is illegal as Thailand. It is an important issue because it involves morality, attitude and effects feelings of other people in society. Although it argues that euthanasia may cause crimes, destroy vital social values and it is prohibited in Buddhism ; however, it should be legalized in Thailand because euthanasia can save payment of relatives, right to life and death should be self decision of patients, and most of people can accept it if it is allowed by the medical and nursing organization.
It has been argued that mercy killing may cause other crimes. Such as organ trade or killing for heritages. Mercy killing has to be committed by good will to release patients from agony, but no standard can tell what good will is.? It is claimed that death should be natural. However, in our society, it is accepted that mercy killing can save payment of relatives. Especially in the poor family that hardly has enough money for food and also has hopeless patient on the same time. They have to choose mercy killing because they are poor. And it is intention of patients to die because they do not want to be a burden of their family. Moreover, organs from hopeless patients can be useful for others, but for using those organs, it has to be a permission of patient to donate it for others not permission of a doctor.
According to the euthanasia debated by the Vancouver sun in June, 2006, mercy killing would destroy vital social values and symbols of human life. How people die could not just a private self determination, but it involves other people and society. Euthanasia of a vital person can convince others to do the same, and it can create a question “what is meaning of human life?” if we can destroy our life easily. However, O De Schutter said about the European Court of Human Rights pronounced in Pretty V. The United Kingdom case (2002) that “The right to life creates the right to self determination in the sense of conferring on an individual the entitlement to choose death rather than life.” It means people have the right to choose death or life by themselves because it is the right of individual.
Buddhists believe that killing regardless of motivation or not, is prohibitive because it is a sin. In prohibited 5 rules of Buddhist, the first rule is “do not kill others.” It covers both humans and animals although it is self-decision to kill themselves even in the hopeless case that the doctor allows to die. However, according to the research on the attitude of Thai lawyers about euthanasia by Chulalongkorn University (2001), most of people believe that euthanasia can be done if the medical and nursing organizations is responsible it. The doctor is competent to judge whether a patient’s case is hopeless and the doctor should joint a patient and relatives to decide for euthanasia. It shows that many Thai lawyers accept euthanasia, society have to follow and accept that present has changed.
In conclusion, mercy killing should be legalized, or at least mercy killing should be allowed in the hopeless case who wishes to die and doctors, including relatives, agree with it. Mercy killing decreases family’s money for hopeless cases, patients have right to choose life and death, and if mercy killings are allowed by professional doctors, most of people can accept it. It is true that Thailand is Buddhist culture and mercy killing is prohibitive. However, we must realize that all life have right to choose their way of life, including death. No one wants to be a criminal because of committing mercy killing from good mind. If Thailand has well certain criterion for mercy killing and be legalized to commit euthanasia, it can be useful for hopeless patients, their relatives and all relevant people to commit a last wish of hopeless patients from a merciful mind.