Right to life and the ethics of euthanasia

It is believed across the globe that, God created this world, and the creation of life is assumed to be the most precious thing in the earth. It is immaterial, how advanced Science and technology we have, the secret behind the cause of life and death remains uncertain.

Well, legally speaking, every human being has got a right to life. In India, Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees Right to life and personal liberty to all Indian Citizens. By virtue of said Article of Indian Constitution, no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

Further, by virtue of the provisions of Indian Penal Code, no one has got right to take away the life of another person, doing so is a punishable offence under the same Code. However, there are certain exceptions to the same.

In this context, let us have a look at the legal issues related to the right to life. One of such case is that of “Euthanasia” OR “Mercy Killing”. Euthanasia, was always been a topic of debate. Hope you all remember the Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai starter movie Guzaarish, where the issue of mercy killing was pictured.

The term “Euthanasia” is nothing but Mercy Killing. It is the practice of intentionally ending the life of a human being in order to relieve him/her from the pain and sufferings. As we know human beings life is not smooth always, and not all human beings die at peace. Sometimes, people go through extreme physical pain in their last days, and they see euthanasia as a compassionate way of ending such pain.

Different patients may ask for wilful Euthanasia to stay away from the shortcoming and loss of intellectual capacities that a few infections reason, and numerous vibe these wishes ought to be regarded.The increased significance given to individual autonomy in this century has been one of the reason for lateral thinking in the direction of legalising euthanasia.

As stated earlier, we all expect a happy and fruitful life. However, not all of us get the same. Many people end their life out of various frustrations in their life. However, it is presumed to be a sign of abnormality. The act of killing oneself is generally called as Suicide and if one ends his life with the help of authorities on his request is called “euthanasia” or “mercy killing”.

Normally those people who are suffering with terminal illness or who have become incapacitated and do not want to go through any sufferingrest of their life, and request OR file petition for “euthanasia” or “mercy killing”.

Euthanasia is a debatable issue, which comprehends the morals, values and beliefs of our society, and I am of the view that, the right to choose between live or die should not be a right allocated for bodied individuals of sound mind but to all human beings.

Controversy over the concept of euthanasia became significant with the recent developments in the European Countries viz. United Kingdom and Netherlands, were euthanasia was legalised OR allowed. Said incident triggered the debate across the world that, whether euthanasia shall be legalised OR not?

Not only in the West, even in India, euthanasia was a hot topic of debate. The best example is the Hindi movie, GuzaarishThough the Law Commission of India has recommended for legalising euthanasia, it is not possible with the existing legal system. i.e., by virtue of Section 300 of Indian Penal Code, 1860euthanasia is illegal. Because, there is a criminal intend on the part of the Doctor who execute euthanasia.

However, one may take a plea that, euthanasia was executed only after due consideration from the appropriate authority as well as the consent of the deceased himself, the Doctor can still be punishable under the provisions of Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code for the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

However, Supreme Court in its recent judgment in Aruna Shanbaug case broke new ground with respect to the concept of euthanasia. In the said case, apex court allowed passive euthanasia viz.,withdrawal of life support systems on patients who are brain dead or in a permanent vegetative state. However, Supreme Court made it clear in its judgement that; an active euthanasia shall continue to be a crime under the existing Indian legal system.

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