Euthanasia in India.

Euthanasia means killing a person who is in a vegetative state. It is being practised in the world since the time of Ancient Greece. There are two types of Euthanasia I.e. Active and passive whereas three kinds of Euthanasia I.e. Voluntary, Non- Voluntary and Involuntary. In India, Passive Euthanasia is legalised in March 2018 after the case of Aruna Shanbaug.


Two types of Euthanasia:

(1)  Active Euthanasia- In this, the patient request to end his/her life. It is an immediate death given to the patient. In other words, it means “Killing on request”.

Example: Giving an fatal dose of morphine to a seriously ill cancer patient.

Active euthanasia is not murdering, it is just killing a person at his request. Not any random person but one who is seriously ill.

(2) Passive Euthanasia- It happens when the doctor intentionally let a patient die by removing artificial life support such as a ventilator or feeding tube.

Example: The patient who is on life support with no expectation of life.
In India on 9th March 2018, the Supreme Court legalised Passive Euthanasia by means of the withdrawal of life support to patients who are in a permanent vegetative state. The decision was made as part of the verdict in the case involving Aruna Shanbaug.


In 1973, Aruna Shanbaug, a junior nurse at King Edward Memorial Hospital Parel, Mumbai was sexually assaulted by a ward boy and remained in a vegetative state after that. In January 2011 after Shanbaug had been in this state for 37 years, a journalist Pinki Virani filed a plea for legalising Euthanasia in The Supreme Court Of India. The court rejected the petition in March 2011. However, the court issued a set of broad guidelines regarding passive euthanasia in India.

These guidelines for passive euthanasia—i.e. the decision to withdraw treatment, nutrition, or water—establish that the decision to discontinue life support must be taken by parents, spouse, or other close relatives, or in the absence of them, by a “next friend”. The decision also requires court approval.

Recently, in March 2018 The apex court added one more point in the strict guideline of passive euthanasia given before and legalising the same. They said Patients must also consent through a living will, and must be either terminally ill or in a vegetative state before applying for euthanasia.

However, by the time in 2015, Aruna Shahbaug died of Pneumonia after being in a persistent vegetative state for 42 years.

Different views on Euthanasia is always been around in the world. In a modern world where medical science has progressed everywhere especially in India. On the other hand, end-of-life issues I.e. Euthanasia has become major ethical considerations in modern-day medical science. But the Indian legislature is not favourable to the same. The landmark Supreme Court judgment has provided a major boost to pro-euthanasia activists though it is a long way to go before it becomes a law in the parliament. Moreover, concerns for its misuse remain a major issue that ought to be addressed before it becomes a law in our country.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

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