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RIGHT TO DIE (PASSIVE EUTHANASIA)

Author: Aditi Gupta, III year of B.A.,LL.B(Hons.) From St. Xavier's University, Kolkata (Xavier Law School).


The Right to die is a conception that is predicated on the outlook that an individual

entitled tocreate any choices regarding terminating his or her life. This right means that an individual with a life-threatening health and does not have the desire to continue living, ought to be allowed to conclude his own life or say no to life prolong treatment. Passive euthanasia means discontinuing life sustaining measures that will prolong life. It can also act as omission such as failure to resuscitate a ill patient or not carrying out a life extending operation.


Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.”


The right to life which is the most fundamental of all is also the most difficult to define.


Right to life includes right to live with human dignity, right to livelihood, right to shelter, right to privacy, right to food, right to education, right to get pollution free air and water etc.


In Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India it had been held that: it's the basic right of everybody in this country to measure with human dignity and free from exploitation. This right to measure with human dignity enshrined in Article 21 derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy. It should embrace protection of the health and strength of the workers, men and women, and of the tender age of kids against abuse, opportunities and facilities for kids to develop during a healthy manner and during a condition of freedom and dignity.


This square measure the minimum needs that should exist so as to alter someone to measure with human dignity and no state has the right to require any action which is able to deprive someone of the enjoyment of the fundamental necessities.


But the question is that whether right to die comes under the preview of article 21.


There are several arguments for legalising euthanasia like it is a way to end an extremely painful life; the family members of the dying patients are relieved of the physical and mental pain and an individual has a right to exercise right to die but by allowing euthanasia it devalue human dignity.


The questions concerning the right to die first came before the Bombay High Court in State of Maharashtra v. Maruty Dubal. In this case it was held that right to life includes right to die that makes section 309 (attempt to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 unconstitutional, that section 309 was considered violative of Article 21. In Chenna Jagadeeswar v. State of Andhra Pradesh, decision was taken and section 309 was held constitutionally valid. In the case of Naresh Marotrao Sakhre v. Union of India, the court said that there was a difference between euthanasia and suicide.


Suicide was an act of self destruction, to take one’s own life without any aid but euthanasia means there was an involvement of a human agency that provided aid to that person and then ending one’s life. In P. Rathinam v. Union of India , the court giving the relief to the patients to attempt suicide was held unreasonable. But, in another case of Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court said that right to life does not include right to die. Right to die is not a natural right and no one has the right to end their lives.


In Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India, Supreme Court set down pointers for passive killing. These pointers provided for withdrawal of life which might ultimately result in a person’s death. This created passive killing potential in India in bound conditions which can be determined by the Supreme Court. Later within the year 2018, Supreme Court passed another order within the case of Common Cause v. Union of India, within which right to die with dignity was once more recognized and passive euthanasia was legalized. Thus, India is currently one in every of the countries within the world that has recognized passive killing. However there are still loopholes within the execution of passive kill. As when Shanbaug case, it had been created necessary to require High Court’s permission before each case, therefore it had been a tedious method. And during this new judgement it was difficult to grant passive killing as impression as currently it involves execution of the directive in presence of two witnesses, authentication by a judicial justice, permission from two medical boards. Therefore this delay could be a major drawback returning within the approach, because it defeats the purpose of passive killing that is to finish the suffering of the person involved however on the opposite hand if the method is created too liberal and simple it will be risk of a good misuse.


The sanctity of human life doesn't imply the forced continuation of existence in pain and suffering as long as someone has the right to guide a dignified existence, he cannot be forced to measure to his detriment. If someone suffers from an incurable disease, it might be inhumane to compel him to measure a painful life. A terminally ill person should be permitted to terminate his pain and suffering by choosing to try to to so. In fact, these aren't cases of extinguishing life but only of accelerating the method of natural death, which has already commenced. The proposition merely is that the legislation must provide for an alternate, if the terminally ill patient so desires, having complied with the requisite conditions, to substitute his slow and painful death with a fast and painless one.