The word euthanasia, originated in Greece means a good death1. Euthanasia encompasses various dimensions, from active (introducing something to cause death) to passive (withholding treatment or supportive measures); voluntary (consent) to involuntary (consent from guardian) and physician assisted (where physician’s prescribe the medicine and patient or the third party administers the medication to cause death)2,3.
Request for premature ending of life has contributed to the debate about the role of such practices in contemporary health care. This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects such as, legal, ethical, human rights, health, religious, economic, spiritual, social and cultural aspects of the civilised society. Here we argue this complex issue from both the supporters and opponents’ perspectives, and also attempts to present the plight of the sufferers and their caregivers. The objective is to discuss the subject of euthanasia from the medical and human rights perspective given the background of the recent Supreme Court judgement3 in this context.
In India abetment of suicide and attempt to suicide are both criminal offences. In 1994, constitutional validity of Indian Penal Code Section (IPC Sec) 309 was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared that IPC Sec 309 is unconstitutional, under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the constitution in a landmark judgement4. In 1996, an interesting case of abetment of commission of suicide (IPC Sec 306) came to Supreme Court5. The accused were convicted in the trial court and later the conviction was upheld by the High Court. They appealed to the Supreme Court and contended that ‘right to die’ be included in Article 21 of the Constitution and any person abetting the commission of suicide by anyone is merely assisting in the enforcement of the fundamental right under Article 21; hence their punishment is violation of Article 21. This made the Supreme Court to rethink and to reconsider the decision of right to die. Immediately the matter was referred to a Constitution Bench of the Indian Supreme Court. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die.All of this depends on the situation. Euthanasia aka Mercy killing should be legalised with certain conditions.Patients who are going through a terribly painful disease and ahead there is no scope of well-being and just a painful death, then Euthanasia is appropriate as in this case, it is not killing, rather it is helping.
but if a patient has an incurable disease, but yet wants to live till he/she can, then in this case euthanasia should not be performed.
If a person is not in a proper mental state, then Euthanasia is inappropriate. That is because some people might take advantage of it and use it in the worse way possible.
Thus, Euthanasia should be legalized in India with strict conditions so that people do not have a chance to misuse the right.
When no curt or parliament or any has got no right or restriction or any thing like that on ” giving birth” or “producing children” and particularly when the state is forced to spend billions on public health without any quantitative
results and most of the corporate and government hospitals are filled with people like who are above 65, useless, clinging to life while close relatives eagerly waiting for their death – is it not right to give “right” to the needy people to get out and get down from the “train” on their own instead of being pushed from a running train?Here what will happen is that only people who would like to live -can stay and others can move out.In villages and towns and in agency areas – if someone cared to tour – you will see very disturbing cases and you will readily agree for this kind of Exit Door policy.
It is proven that euthanasia provides a way to relieve the individual from the mammoth of sufferings as though they are alive on a burning pyre of intolerable pain. It gives the right to the beings to evaluate their essence of life and live and end it in a dignified manner without any force. The underlying principle of this is the consent and choice of the person. The battle of euthanasia as a legal remedy is tough and complex. It needs careful examination of the status quo of India, the mindset of the people, the acceptance and the presence of required equipment. If at all, it were to be legalized in India, there would be a requirement of stringent and well-structured laws that would guarantee the consent and will of the individual, monitoring the failure of all medical resources and methods to revive the person, intentions of the caregivers and medical officials, proper ways to ensure that no abuse of the law takes place and the review of circumstances under which the euthanasia is to be allowed.
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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