Mercy and Killing can never go together.
ACCORDING to Buddhism mercy killing cannot be justified. Mercy and killing can never go together. Some people kill their pets on the grounds that they do not like to see the pets suffer. However, if mercy killing is the correct method to be practised on pets and other animals, then why are people so reluctant to do the same to their beloved ones?
When some people see their dogs or cats suffer from some skin
disease, they arrange to kill those poor animals. They call this action, mercy killing. Actually it is not that they have mercy towards those animals, but they kill them for their own precaution and to get rid of an awful sight. And even if they do have real mercy towards a suffering animal, they still have no right to take away its life. No matter how sincere one may be, mercy killing is not the correct approach. While the consequences of this killing are different from killing with hatred towards the animal, Buddhists have no grounds to say that any kind of killing is justified.
Some people try to justify mercy killing with the misconception
that if the motive or reason is good, then the act itself is good.
They then claim that by killing their pet, they have the intention to relieve the unhappy animal from its suffering and so the action is good. No doubt their original intention or motive is good. But the misguided act of killing which occurs through a later thought, requires some degree of cruelty or hard-heartedness which will certainly bring about unwholesome results.
Avoiding mercy killing can create inconvenience to many. Nevertheless, the Buddhist religion cannot justify mercy killing as
completely free from bad reactions. However, we must add that to kill without any greed, anger or hatred has less bad reaction than to kill out of intense anger or jealousy.
It must be remembered that, a being (human or animal) suffers
owing to his or her bad karma. If by mercy killing, we prevent the
working out of one’s bad karma, the debt will have to be paid in
another existence. As Buddhists, all that we can do is to help to
reduce the pain of suffering in others.