Founder and former leader of the Saiva Siddhanta Church in Kauai, HI
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
"In their love, their wisdom of the meaning and purpose of life, the rishis, the divine lawmakers, provided an alternative for extraordinary human suffering. They knew that excruciating suffering with no possible end in view is not conducive to spiritual progress and that it is best to have a fully conscious death in a joyous, religious mood, meditating or listening to scripture and sacred songs to the Gods. So, the Vedic rishis gave, in rare circumstances, the anguished embodied soul a way to systematically, nobly and acceptably, even to loved ones, release itself from embodiment through fasting...
The seers did not want unrelenting pain and hopelessness to be the only possibilities facing a soul whose body was failing, whose only experience was pain without reprieve. So they prescribed a kindly way, a reasonable way, especially for the pain-riddled, disabled elderly and the terminally diseased, to choose a righteous release. What wonderful wisdom. No killer drugs. No violence. No involvement of another human being, with all the karmic entanglements that inevitably produces. No life-support systems. No loss of the family wealth for prolonged health care or into the hands of unscrupulous doctors. No lapsing into unconscious coma. No loss of dignity. No unbearable anguish. And no sudden or impulsive decision -- instead, a quiet, slow, natural exit from the body, coupled with spiritual practices, with mantras and tantras, with scriptural readings, deep meditation, reflection and listening to favorite religious songs, with joyous release, with all affairs settled, with full self-awareness and with recognition and support from friends and relations."
Living with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Culture, 2001
Experts MDs, JDs (Lawyers), PhDs and Religious Leaders with significant involvement in end-of-life issues. [Because end-of-life dilemmas require medical, ethical, legal, and in some case religious considerations, we view MDs, PhDs with a bio-ethical focus, and JDs/religious leaders with significant involvement as "experts" in the euthanasia debate.] [Note: Experts definition varies by site.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
Founder and former leader, Saiva Siddhanta Church, Kauai, HI
Founder, Kauai Aadheenam, Hindu Monastery and headquarters of Saiva Siddhanta Church, Kauai, HI
Founder, Hinduism Today
Former Member, Vision Kauai 2020
Recipient, United Nations U Thant Peace Award, Aug. 25, 2000
Honored as the "Hindu Voice of the Century" by the Vishva Hindu Parishad of Kerala, 1998
Founder, Hindu Heritage Endowment, 1994
Elected one of three presidents by Parliament of the World's Religions to represent Hinduism at the Presidents' Assembly, 1993
Hindu representative, Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders for Human Survival, 1988 (England), 1990 (Russia), and 1992 (Brazil)