Euthanasia Mercy Killing

Australian state allows voluntary euthanasia in 2019


Mains Paper2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Euthanasia

Mains level: Australia has legalized voluntary euthanasia 20 years after it repealed its mercy killing law. Euthanasia has been in news for quite some time now and it becomes important for mains.



  1. An Australian state parliament has legalised voluntary euthanasia 20 years after the country repealed the world’s first mercy-killing law for the terminally ill. 
  2. The final vote in the Victorian parliament on Wednesday means that doctor-assisted suicide will be allowed in Australia’s second-most populous state from mid-2019.

First Jurisdiction in the world to legalise doctor-assisted suicide

  1. Australia’s sparsely populated Northern Territory in 1995 became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalise doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.
  2. But the Australian Parliament overturned that law in 1997 after four people had been helped to die.



  1. Generally, the word euthanasia is defined as the, act or practice of painlessly putting to death or withdrawing treatment from a person suffering an incurable disease.
  2. Euthanasia is intentionally killing another person to relieve his or her suffering. 
  3. There are 2 types of euthanasia: Passive euthanasia and Active euthanasia.
  4. Active euthanasia is defined as taking an immediate action such as using lethal injection to painlessly put a terminally-ill patient to death.
  5. Passive euthanasia is withdrawing treatment while the life of the patient is still dependent on it and when it is believed that treatment is more burdensome than beneficial.
  6. Passive euthanasia allows the patient to die naturally and is often considered more acceptable. 




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