Ours is a democracy which means that it is by the people, of the people and for the people. Constitution locates power that resides in the people. It is the people’s power for people’s benefit. Constitution creates rights and duties. All most all our demands get converted into rights-even our feelings, emotions is governed by the rights and duties we have. As we have got the right to live life with all dignity so we should also have right to die as when it is necessary by law in certain situation.
In India, the sanctity of life has been placed on the highest pedestal. ” The right to life” under Article 21 of the Constitution has received the widest possible interpretation under the able hands of the judiciary and rightly so. A debate exists among ethicists whether the right to die is universal, or only applies under certain circumstances such as terminal illness.
The Society for Right to Die With Dignity and the All-India Body of Medical Practitioners in Critical Care Medicine filed a petition before the Supreme Court urging that the right to die be made legal in the country. Recently, the Law Commission of India and the law reforms panel in Kerala had suggested that euthanasia, or mercy killing, be made legal.
The term euthanasia refers to an act that ends a life in a painless manner, performed by someone other than the patient. This may include withholding common treatments resulting in death, removal of the patient from life support, or the use of lethal substances or forces to end the life of the patient. 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. It came t be known as a historic judgement.
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”. It is a landmark law which places the power of choice in the hands of the individual, over government, medical or religious control which sees all suffering as “destiny”. The Supreme Court specified two irreversible conditions to permit Passive Euthanasia Law in its 2011 Law: (I) The brain-dead for whom the ventilator can be switched off (II) Those in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) for whom the feed can be tapered out and pain-managing palliatives be added, according to laid-down international specifications.
The same judgement-law also asked for the scrapping of 309, the code which penalises those who survive suicide-attempts. In December 2014, government of India declared its intention to do so.
However, on 25 February 2014, a three-judge bench of Supreme Court of India had termed the judgment in the Aruna Shanbaug case to be ‘inconsistent in itself’ and has referred the issue of euthanasia to its five-judge Constitution bench.
Passive euthanasia involves the withdrawing of treatment or food that would allow the patient to live.
in the world active euthanasia is almost always illegal. The legal status of passive euthanasia, on the other hand, including the withdrawal of nutrition or water, varies across the nations of the world. As India had no law about euthanasia, the Supreme Court’s guidelines are law until and unless Parliament passes legislation. India’s Minister of Law and Justice, Veerappa Moily, called for serious political debate over the issue. The following guidelines were laid down:
A decision has to be taken to discontinue life support either by the parents or the spouse or other close relatives, or in the absence of any of them, such a decision can be taken even by a person or a body of persons acting as a next friend. It can also be taken by the doctors attending the patient. However, the decision should be taken bona fide in the best interest of the patient.
Even if a decision is taken by the near relatives or doctors or next friend to withdraw life support, such a decision requires presence of two witness and countersigned by first class judicial magistrate, and should also be approved by a medical board set up by the hospital.
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