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Dutch cover

Euthanasia (eu = good, thanatos = death) was legalised by Dutch Parliament in 2002 and it was the only country in the world to do so. Earlier, Oregon in the United States was the only State in the US to pass the Death with Dignity Act in 1997 enabling patients to administer lethal injections to themselves. Patient instead of doctor practises euthanasia with legal sanction. In Columbia doctors are not held responsible provided they follow a terminally ill patient's request for mercy killing.

Indian connection

Two cases of Indian courts turning down requests of patients to die were reported in 2001. The Patna High Court dismissed Tarakeshwar Chandravanshi's plea seeking mercy killing for his 25-year-old wife, Kanchan, who was comatose for 16 months. The Kerala High Court, too, did not permit B.K. Pillai, down with a disabling illness, to die. Although mercy killing appears morally justifiable for brain dead patients whose organs can be donated to save others' lives, in case of incurable diseases doctors have to be careful as they run the risk of attracting punishment for murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

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