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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v18.i1.260
28 pages

Abstract of "Is Euthanasia a Problem for Ayurveda"

Sudarsan Padmanabhan
Department of Humanities and Social Science, HSB 352B Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai - 600 036 Tamil Nadu, India
Sreekumar Nellickapilly
Department of Humanities and Social Science, HSB 352B Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai - 600 036 Tamil Nadu, India

ABSTRACT

The great Ayurvedic physician of antiquity, Caraka, emphasized the importance diagnosing the curability or incurability of a disease as the first step before beginning a treatment. If a patient had been afflicted by an incurable disease then any treatment of the disease then would become futile. Caraka seems to have taken into consideration issues such as the quality of life and a careful understanding of the concept of death while determining the course of treating a disease medically. This paper attempts to unravel any deliberate or explicit reference to euthanasia, what in the West is considered to be a very concerted attempt on the part of the patient to end her life due to terminal illness. Also, legal sanction has been accorded by some Western countries for physician-assisted suicide. This paper explores, based on the philosophical tradition of Ayurveda, whether euthanasia could have had an ethical basis in the Indian system of medical ethics, given the concept of life, inception of life, death, rebirth, and the theory of karma that governed such a process.