Euthanasia by Sanjana Parihar at LEXCLIQ

The word Euthanasia is a controversial topic since its beginning and it has always held the limelight whenever it is discussed in court. It is derived from the Greek word, ‘Eu’ which means ‘good’ and ‘Thanatos means ‘death’. In short, it means “good death“.

In its earlier form, it was used for giving a painless death. In modern terms, it is used for mercy killing or Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS), which is about giving a license for the right to kill. The history of India Vedas also states some of the religion permits euthanasia in their own way e.g. in Jain, once people have completed the purpose of the life, they take the fast till death which is allowed.

In a modern context, euthanasia is used for the medical ill persons, who by doctors are declared that they can’t move against the Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) or the persons who are in a coma, the court thinks they should not suffer more than they are already are. It is true that normally a man is to live and continue to enjoy the fruits of life till his life is ended by nature. Suicide or an attempt to commit suicide is not a feature of natural life.

There are two types of euthanasia – passive and active. Active euthanasia is defined as taking immediate action such as using lethal injection to painlessly put terminally ill patients to death. 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. Passive euthanasia allows the patient to die naturally and is often considered more acceptable.

Indian Context
The right to die in the Indian context is used vaguely in terms of medically treated persons. The most discussed case is Aruna Shanbaug, where she was in PVS for over 37 years and died in 2015 from pneumonia. It was held in the Common Cause case, the living will term was used in which the person can make the will when he/she is in a normal state of mind. They rule with the guidelines mentioned in the Aruna Shanbaug case. Only passive euthanasia is allowed till today date and in severe medically ill patients. India has the highest suicide rate in the world after China, with 371 suicides taking place every day.  India has the highest suicide rate in the world after China, with 371 suicides taking place every day.

Judicial Creativity
The ‘Right to Die’ was raised for the first time in the case of Maruti Sripati Dubal v. State of Maharashtra (1987). This case held the right to die as a fundamental right and it was held as constitutionally valid, and it struck down the Section-309 of IPC (Punishment for attempt to commit suicide) and held it unconstitutional. The right to die was for the first time included in Article-21 (Right to Life).

A similar judgement was passed by the Supreme Court in the case of P.Rathinam v. Union of India (1994). During the Rathinam case, the court observed that insofar as our country is concerned, mythology says Lord Rama and his brothers took jalasamadhi in river Saryu near Ayodhya; ancient history says Buddha and Mahavira achieved death by seeking it. The aforementioned people are our religious and spiritual leaders; they are eulogised and worshipped.

The right to die was again raised in the case of Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (1996), this case overruled the judgement of earlier cases which included the right to die as a fundamental right. It also held that both active and passive euthanasia is not lawful in India under Article-21 of the Constitution of India, it was the very first time the terms active and passive euthanasia was used in the Indian context.

Later in the landmark judgement of Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India (2011), the Supreme Court issued a set of broad guidelines legalising passive euthanasia in India. In the most recent judgement of Common Cause (A Registered Society) v. Union of India (2018), it was held that ‘right to die with dignity is a fundamental right, in circumstances of the medically ill person with the consent of doctors and permission of the court.

Thus, the dimension of euthanasia changed with changing scenarios. The right to have one’s life terminated at will is subject to social, ethical and legal structures.

International Position:
Passive euthanasia is generally accepted all over the countries, but practising active involuntary euthanasia is illegal in almost all countries and are treated as criminal homicide. It is still legal in some countries like the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and some parts in the United States of Oregon, Washington and Montana. House of Lords decision in Airedale NHS Trust v. Bland (1993), which had held that euthanasia could be made lawful only by legislation.

In the Indian context, the reviews of the right to die are both positive and negative. The religious group was of the review that death is sacred and it cannot be controlled by outer means. The positive review was of the patients who were suffering for a long time and their living will be not made. In short, the right to die is halfway accepted through India with modernisation and globalisation coming to the market, the concept of the right to die will be accepted by the people.

Leave a Reply

Articles Courses

English Assignment Writing

English Assignment Writing: A Comprehensive Guide with the Help of an English Assignment Helper English assignment writing is an essential task that every student encounters during their academic career. This task can be daunting, especially for students who are not native speakers of English. However, with the help of an English assignment helper, students can […]

Read More
tupi Tea Male Enhancement
Advocates Articles

tupi Tea Male Enhancement

Tupi Tea is a wellness supplement specifically for men. Its natural and plant-based ingredients play a vital role in health enhancement. ➥✅ Product Name: Tupi Tea Male Enhancement ➥✅ Category:- Normal ➥✅ Benefits:- Sexual Performance,Improved Blood Flow, ➥✅ Side Effects:- No Side Effects ➥✅ Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5.0) ➥✅ Availbility:- Only On Official Website Tupi Tea USA Reviews: Tupi Tea is a brand […]

Read More
cheap qatar airways
Advocates Articles

Are Qatar tickets cheap on airport?

Qatar is in the Middle East. It is a small country, but it is growing quickly. It is well known for its strong economy, high standard of living, and interesting culture. Qatar has become a popular tourist spot and one of the first places many people think of when they want to go somewhere exciting […]

Read More