A good and meaningful life is everyone’s goal, and they constantly strive to achieve it. In addition to a good life, they also hope to die with dignity and not wait for an illness to slowly torture and kill them. Death should be easy and peaceful. No one desires for a life were staying alive is worse than death itself.
Euthanasia is described as the deliberate and intentional killing of a person, for the beneﬁt of that person, to relieve him from pain and suffering. The concept of euthanasia is to kill the patients by doctors at the request of the patient to free him from extreme pain or from terminal illness globally. Thus, the basic intention behind euthanasia is to ensure a painless death to a person who is not showing any sign of improvement and his/her condition will eventually lead to death after a long period of extreme pain and suffering.
Types of euthanasia-
Active or Positive:
Active euthanasia refers to painlessly putting individuals to death . When a doctor administers lethal dose of medication to a patient, it is called active euthanasia.
Passive or negative:
Passive euthanasia is when death is caused because a treatment that is sustaining the life of the patient is stopped and as a result the patient dies. For example, removing life supporting devices from a serious patient.
Voluntary euthanasia is practiced with the desire and consent of the patient. Voluntary euthanasia is mainly concerned with the right of choice of the terminally ill patient who decides to end his or her life.
Involuntary euthanasia is when the patient is killed without his/her wish. It refers to cases wherein a competent patient’s life is ended against the wishes of that patient who oppose euthanasia; and would clearly amount to murder.
Non-Voluntary euthanasia is ending the life of a person who is not mentally competent to make an informed decision to die. In Non-Voluntary euthanasia the patient has no will to live or give any advance direction, as he may not have had an opportunity to do so or may not have anticipated any such eventuality. The family member makes the choice in this case.
Euthanasia VS Suicide:
Euthanasia is concept which can be said is like suicide, yet it is completely different from it. Some consider euthanasia to be like suicide, yet it is completely different from it. Suicide is an act in which a person intentionally takes his own life. A person can commit suicide due to losing job, financial crisis, depression, stress, failing in examinations, troubles in love life, etc. The basic difference is that in suicide a person voluntarily takes his/her own life and in euthanasia, some other person ends the life of the person with his/her consent.
In the case of Maruti Shripati Dubal v. State of Maharastra, the Bombay High Court said that suicide is an in act of self-killing without assistance from any other person on the other hand in euthanasia, some other person is required to end the life.
Concept of Euthanasia in India:
Chapter III of the Constitution of India guarantees Fundamental rights. Article 21 states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
Article 21 recognizes the sanctity of human life. Whether right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes Right to die as well has been a topic of debate in several cases.
The landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India has made passive euthanasia legal in India after getting approval from the concerned High Court for withdrawal of life support and the High Courts can approve the withdrawal of life support and permit passive euthanasia under the power of the High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Thus, since March 2018, passive euthanasia is legal in India under strict guidelines. However, the Supreme Court also feels that Euthanasia can be used by dishonest relatives of the patients and can be abused. So, the right to die cannot be made absolute and must be subjected to regulatory mechanisms. The Supreme Court further said that it is the duty of the courts to protect the misuse of law relating to Euthanasia.