Svarupa Damodara: Srila Prabhupada? In this biomedical science, this ethics, there's a problem arising. The person, the family of the person who is suffering, says that "Please don't apply these machines. Let the person die." But the medical doctors say "No, we'll keep him alive as long as we can go on." So this is a problem. So who's right? Is the family right, or...
Prabhupada: Family right. Family is intelligent, that "You are rascal, why you are trying? Let him die peacefully."
Bali-mardana: They say "Let him die in dignity. Why keep him in the machine?" The family says "Let him die in dignity."
Ramesvara: They keep him in coma.
Prabhupada: After all, you cannot protect. Why you give trouble at the time of death? You cannot protect; your foolish attempt will not help him. This is the same philosophy, that the animal is suffering, to kill him. Mercy of killing, what is called?
Ramesvara: Mercy killing.
Prabhupada: So this is nonsense. Mercy killing. Killing mercy. [laughs] Just see. The action is killing, and that is his mercy. This is their mercy. All contradictory. Killing by mercy? Mercy is killing?
Hari-sauri: There's an example that's just going up to the courts now. There's one family, their daughter was being supported by one machine, so one day they went in early and pulled out the plugs. So now they are being taken to court. They stopped the machine because she'd been in a coma for so long, so they just pulled out the plugs and everything, the machine. So that's what they call mercy killing. They don't like the doctors just to keep them there uselessly.
Ramesvara: But then they want to kill the old people. This mercy killing, they think that "An old man is suffering, so let us kill him."
Pusta Krsna: They think if someone dies in their sleep, they are very lucky.
Prabhupada: It is dangerous to die here.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- New York, July 11, 1976
The duration of life, bodily strength, mercy, memory -- these things will decrease gradually. Nowadays you won't find many people with a very fertile brain, nor are people very strong physically. And mercy? There is no question of it. If somebody sees you being killed on the street, he doesn't care; he'll go on walking. There is no mercy. Even the mother has no mercy -- killing her child in the womb. This is the Kali-yuga.
So there is a great necessity for preaching this bhagavata-dharma. And this is what Prahlada Maharaja is preaching to his daitya classmates. The daityas, or demons, do not understand that human life is meant for cultivating Krsna consciousness. They do not understand the value of human life. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja is teaching them about bhagavata-dharma.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Material happiness often takes the form of relieving distress. Isn't human life meant for something more?