Euthanasia is purposely ending someone’s life to relieve them of the pain and suffering. Doctors around the world have sometimes perform euthanasia when it’s requested by people who have a terminal illness and are in a lot of pain. It’s a complicated process as it involves weighing many factors. Local laws, someone’s physical and mental health, and their personal beliefs and wishes all play a role.
Different practices fall under the label “euthanasia.”
- Active euthanasia: killing a patient by active means, for example, injecting a patient with a lethal dose of a drug. Also called “aggressive” euthanasia.
- Passive euthanasia: intentionally letting a patient die by withholding artificial life support such as a ventilator or feeding tube.
Some ethicists distinguish between withholding life support and withdrawing life support (the patient is on life support but then removed from it).
In India, euthanasia is a crime. Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the attempt to commit suicide and Section 306 of the IPC deals with abetment of suicide – both actions are punishable. Only those who are brain dead can be taken off life support with the help of family members.
Since March 2018, passive euthanasia is legal in India under strict guidelines. Patients must consent through a living will and must be either terminally ill or in a vegetative state. On 9 March 2018 the Supreme Court of India legalised passive euthanasia by means of the withdrawal of life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state. The decision was made as part of the verdict in a case involving Aruna Shanbaug, who had been in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) until her death in 2015. The historic judgement-law permitting Passive Euthanasia in the country. This judgment was passed in wake of Pinki Virani’s plea to the Supreme Court in December 2009 under the Constitutional provision of “Next Friend”
In my opinion active and passive euthanasia both should be allowed. And fortunately, we have passes one barrier, and passive euthanasia is legalised in India. We all have right to live with dignity as per article 21 of Constitution of India. ‘Life’ in Article 21 of the Constitution is not merely the physical act of breathing. It does not connote mere animal existence or continued drudgery through life. It has a much wider, including, including the right to live with human dignity, right to livelihood, right to health, right to pollution-free air, etc.
And living in such a condition, which will lead to pain and a lot of suffering is not exercising Right to live. We live in a civilised society; people should be able to choose when they are ready to die and should be helped if they are unable to end their lives on their own. Especially when they are suffering and eventually are going to perish a painful death.
Probably the first country that comes to mind in relation to assisted dying, Switzerland allows physician-assisted suicide without a minimum age requirement, diagnosis, or symptom state.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal in the Netherlands in cases where someone is experiencing unbearable suffering and there is no chance of it improving. There is no requirement to be terminally ill, and no mandatory waiting period. There are various checks that have to be undertaken before assisted dying can be approved. Doctors who are considering allowing assisted dying must consult with at least one other, independent doctor to confirm that the patient meets the necessary criteria.
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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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge