Analysis of the Right to Die
If one were to undertake the Hohfeldian analysis of this right, the jural correlatives brought to question would be right and duty. According to him, every right has a corresponding duty. This means that if X has the right to die, then Y would have the duty to kill him. This, as we all know, is not the case. The IPC under Section 300 and 302 punished killing or murder of another person. Then what does right to die comprise of?
The scope of the right to die in India extends to only allowing terminally ill patients or their family to decide when to withdraw life support and to let the person die with dignity. Here, if X has the right to die with dignity when he is terminally ill, Y or the state has the duty to let him exercise his right.
As in the case of committing suicide, though section 309 of IPC was recently held to be arbitrary, as well as the state withdrew the prior punishment for persons who attempted suicide, the state still does not promote suicide. The State merely abstains from criminalizing it understanding that such is a matter of mental health.
Johne Locke, among other philosopher stated that persons have the right to their life, liberty and property and by that logic, arguments arise that if one has the absolute right to life, then they must also be given the right to decide if they want to die or if they want to end their life in case of terminal illness.
Several Arguments that have been put up in this regard are as follows-
- It is a way to end an extremely miserable and painful life, and insistence to postpone the death against patient’s wishes are against law, unwise, inhumane and not medically sound
- The family members of the dying patient are relieved of the physical, emotional, economical and mental stress upon them. It also provides comfort to the patient and causes relief of his pain
- The patients also have a right to refuse medical treatment. If a doctor treats a patient against his express wishes, he can be charged with assault
- Performance of euthanasia will free up the medical funds of the state to help other poor and needy people.
- An individual has the freedom to exercise his right to die. The Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms where a positive right includes a negative right. For instance, freedom of speech includes within it freedom not to speak etc.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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