Group Discussion on Euthanasia

The right to die or end your life at your wish or assisted suicide as some call it, is not supported by the constitution. Medical euthanasia sparked debate many a times when a patient fighting a one sided battle of life expresses his desire to be allowed to put to rest. It has never been granted on moral grounds in India though some are of the view that it should be.

In this guide for Group Discussion on Euthanasia, we get you interesting facts, quotes, arguments and possible GD topics to help you deal with any discussion on this topic.

Some facts for Group Discussion on Euthanasia:

  • Euthanasia is legalised only in 9 countries - Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Albania and US.
  • In US, only the states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana have legalised euthanasia.
  • Euthanasia is categorised into 5 types - voluntary, involuntary, active, passive and forced.
  • Euthanasia is done with lethal dose of painkiller and other drugs. However, some countries still use starvation, plastic bag to suffocate, carbon monoxide, and Dr Philip Nitschke's peaceful pill.
  • Euthanasia is illegal in India but a tradition is still practiced in South India called 'Thalaikoothal', where old feeble people are forced to drink fresh cow's milk until they suffer breathing problems and die.
  • SC legalised passive euthanasia in 2011, in the light of the case of Aruna Shanbaug who lived in a vegetative state for 42 years, after she was brutally raped in 1973.

An interesting quote on Euthanasia, you can use in the GD:

Of all the arguments against voluntary euthanasia, the most influential is the 'slippery slope': once we allow doctors to kill patients, we will not be able to limit the killing to those who want to die.
- Peter Singer

Possible group discussion topics on Euthanasia:

1. Should euthanasia be legalised in India?
2. Pros and cons of mercy killing.
3. Voluntary euthanasia versus Involuntary euthanasia
4. Active euthanasia versus Passive euthanasia
5. Should forced euthanasia be practiced on those serving life imprisonments?
6. Is euthanasia against the ethics of medical science?
7. Religious argument against euthanasia is invalid - For or Against?
8. Euthanasia should be a choice of patients and their kin.
9. Was the judgement in the Aruna Shahbaug case right?
10. Everyone should have the right to get relief from excruciating pain.
11. Should the mentally ill with no chances of recovery be euthanized?
12. Mercy killing can easily be misused.
13. Philip Nitschke's 3-D printed euthanasia machine - Pros and Cons.
14. Euthanasia for the disabled should not be allowed.

Pros of Euthanasia:

1. Right of patient: Those suffering from terminal illness with no chance of recovery or relief should have the right to opt to end their life.

2. Pain: Some diseases cause excruciating pain to the patient as well get them to feel burdened on their kin. It could provide peaceful death to them.

3. End-of-life: When doctors know the end is near and unavoidable but the patient is in extreme unease, they should get relief with consent.

4. Illegally practiced: Not legalising euthanasia has led to illegal practices that are easily misused against the will of the patient.

5. Less care: In a country where government provides little to no aid for terminal illness, what other option does a poor family have?

Cons of Euthanasia:

1. Doctor's oath: The oath has been since the Hippocratic time to not harm the patient with or without their consent.

2. Ethics: Some religions speak strictly against killing of a person with or without their will. It is regarded as a sin.

3. Misuse: Legalising euthanasia will give some corrupt doctors a chance to earn from organ trading and other nuisances.

4. For money: The kin might want to lay off the person who could be the owner of properties and savings that they get after the patient is killed.

5. For negligence: Government hospitals will become more negligent about the care and treatment of poor, old or mentally ill patients.


Euthanasia should be legalised but only under specific conditions after being scrutinised by the court of law to prevent misuse. While it may be ethically incorrect but it would indeed be a humane thing to do in some extreme cases. Similarly for doctor's oath, it has constantly been altered and changed to suit the need of time.

We hope that this GD guide on Euthanasia equipped you with enough information to deal with any discussions on this topic in your entrance exams or placement tests.