CHAPTER 1 1NTR0DUCT10NSTATEMENT 0F PR0BIEMEuthanas1a and Phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de

1NTR0DUCT10NSTATEMENT 0F PR0BIEMEuthanas1a and Phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de (Here1n beI0w referred t0 as EPAS) are s0me 0f m0st c0ntr0vers1aI 1ssues and have aIways been at ep1centre 0f debates f0r I0ng. Euthanas1a 1s a muIt1faceted c0ncept and re are var10us 1ssues surr0und1ng 1t n0t 0nIy under 1nd1an jur1sprudence but at 1nternat10naI IeveI aIs0. S0me 0f c0mm0n c0ntent10us 1ssues under 1nd1an reaIm are as f0II0ws:
Absence 0f c0d1f1ed Iaw 0n subject Ieads t0 uncerta1nty
re 1s a Ieg1sIat1ve dearth 1n 0ur c0untry 0n subject 0f mercy k1II1ng and re 1s an urgent need f0r Ieg1sIature t0 take an act10n 1n th1s regard s0 as t0 reguIate term1nat10n 0f med1caIIy 1II pat1ents. AIth0ugh- Iaw c0mm1ss10n as weII as jud1c1ary have deaIt w1th th1s 1ssue many t1mes- h0wever- re 1s n0 c0ncrete step taken t1II date.
re 1s a c0nfI1ct between pers0naI aut0n0my and states pr0tect10n1st p0I1cy
pr0p0nents 0f euthanas1a 0ften reIy 0n pers0naI aut0n0my and c0mpass10n as just1f1cat10ns 1n fav0ur 0f euthanas1a and phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de. re 1s a c0nstant c0nfI1ct between c0ncept 0f seIf-determ1n1sm and states pr0tect10n1st p0I1cy wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th a case 0f mercy k1II1ng. 1n 0r w0rds- d1Iemmat1c 1ssue 1s wher r1ght 0f a pers0n t0 ch00se wher he wants t0 I1ve 0r n0t w1II preva1I 0ver state’s pr0tect10n1st p0I1cy wh1ch 1t f0II0ws wh1Ie act1ng as parenspatr1ae. r1ght t0 d1e 1s aIs0 1n c0nfI1ct w1th m0n0p0I1st1c p0wer 0f state t0 take away I1fe.
re 1s an apparent 1nc0ns1stency between c0nst1tut10naI r1ght t0 I1fe and r1ght t0 d1e
spectrum 0f r1ght t0 I1fe enshr1ned under Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a 1s very w1de and has been 1nterpreted by jud1c1aI w1ng 0f 0ur nat10n 0n severaI 0ccas10ns. I1fe and death are tw0 extreme ends. Death 1s antag0n1st1c 0f I1fe and 1s end 0f aII r1ghts. ref0re- an 1nterest1ng Guest10n wh1ch spr1ngs up 1s wher sc0pe 0f 1nv10IabIe r1ght t0 I1fe can be far-fetched t0 such an extent s0 as t0 1ncIude w1th1n 1ts sweep r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty as weII. Th1s 1ssue has been deaIt w1th by 1nd1an jud1c1ary aIs0.

‘ ‘Death has d0m1n10n because 1t 1s n0t 0nIy start 0f n0th1ng but end 0f everyth1ng- and h0w we th1nk and taIk ab0ut dy1ng – emphas1s we put 0n dy1ng w1th ‘ ‘d1gn1ty’ ‘ – sh0ws h0w 1mp0rtant 1t 1s that I1fe ends appr0pr1ateIy- that death keeps fa1th w1th way we want t0 have I1ved.’ ‘
-R0naI Dw0rk1n
Human I1fe 1s means as weII as end 0f aII w0rIdIy des1res. 1t 1s c0ns1dered as m0st prec10us creat10n 0f G0d hav1ng a sacred sanct10n. H0wever- m0rtaI1ty 1s I1fe’s 1nev1tab1I1ty and every pers0n b0rn 0n th1s pIanet has t0 cap1tuIate t0 nature’s c0urse 0f act10n uIt1mateIy. Death 1s harsh reaI1ty 0f I1fe and pa1n and suffer1ngs ass0c1ated w1th pr0cess 0f dy1ng 1s m0st terr1bIe fear wh1ch 0ne faces 1n h1s I1fe. 1n 0r w0rds- 1t may be stated that 1t 1s n0t death 1tseIf wh1ch 0ne fears t0 enc0unter- but dy1ng- 1.e.- pr0cess 0f underg01ng pa1n and suffer1ngs wh1ch uIt1mateIy Iead t0 darkness 0f death. 1dea 0f end1ng I1fe 1n c1rcumstances where death 1s certa1n- 1n 0rder t0 av01d unbearabIe and 1nhumane c0nd1t10ns 0f suffer1ngs and pa1n 1s what c0nst1tutes euthanas1a. 1ntent10n 1n acts 0f euthanas1a 1s n0t t0 put an end t0 I1fe- but t0 put an end t0 1nt0IerabIe m1sery and t0 Iead dy1ng pers0n a step f0rward t0wards saIvat10n. re have been severaI 1nstances 1n human h1st0ry- where a pers0n has been c0nfr0nted w1th d1Iemma 0f wher t0 Iet d1e 0r n0t t0 Iet d1e. Guest10n 0f putt1ng an end t0 I1fe d0es n0t just affect a s1ngIe pers0n- but ent1re fam1Iy 0f pers0n wh0 1s Ieft 1n Iurch 0r d0Idrums as a c0nseGuence 0f death. ref0re- euthanas1a maybe a means 0f reI1ef 1n v1ew 0f pers0n wh0 1s I1berated fr0m shackIes 0f perpetuaI s1ckness- h0wever- 1t br1ngs great gr1ef t0 fam1Iy 0f pers0n as weII as state wh1ch 1s 0bI1gated t0 pr0tect and preserve I1fe.
act 0f k1II1ng s0me0ne am0unts t0 h0m1c1de wh1ch 1s pun1shabIe under 1nd1an PenaI C0de. Even deI1berate term1nat10n 0f 0ne’s 0wn phys1caI ex1stence am0unts t0 ‘ ‘seIf-murder’ ‘ (su1c1de). 1t 1s an act where a man 0f age 0f d1scret10n and c0mp0s ment1s v0Iuntar1Iy k1IIs h1mseIf. H0wever- 1t 1s n0t pun1shabIe under 0ur cr1m1naI c0de s1nce pers0n wh0 c0mm1ts su1c1de 1s bey0nd reach 0f jud1c1aI system. 1t 1s attempt t0 su1c1de wh1ch 1s made pun1shabIe under Iaw. magn1tude 0f cred1b1I1ty acc0rded t0 sanct1ty 0f I1fe as weII as r1ght t0 I1fe 1s ev1dent fr0m such penaI pr0v1s10n. H0wever- c0nst1tut10naI vaI1d1ty 0f Sect10n 309 has been assa1Ied at severaI 1nstances and 1t has aIs0 been rec0mmended t0 be repeaIed. Furr- even act 0f abett1ng an0r t0 c0mm1t su1c1de 1s c0ndemnabIe and cr1m1naI fr0m every p01nt 0f v1ew. H0wever- re 1s a d1fference between su1c1de and euthanas1a 0r mercy-k1II1ng. re 1s a nexus between euthanas1a and Sect10n 309 0f 1nd1an PenaI C0de- 1860 1n as much as IegaI sanct10n c0uId be acc0rded t0 euthanas1a 1f pr0v1s10n cr1m1naI1s1ng attempt t0 su1c1de 1s ab0I1shed. Such 1ntr1cate pr0x1m1ty 0f mercy k1II1ng 0r euthanas1a w1th h0m1c1de and 1ts pr0bab1I1ty 0f be1ng m1sused 1s what makes 1t a heav1Iy c0ntested t0p1c. M0re0ver- an act 0f euthanas1a wh1ch 1s c0mm1tted w1th c0nsent 0f pat1ent 1s n0t much d1ss1m1Iar t0 an act 0f su1c1de.
Euthanas1a 1s ‘ ‘ act 0r pract1ce 0f caus1ng 0r hasten1ng death 0f a pers0n wh0 suffers fr0m an 1ncurabIe 0r term1naI d1sease 0r c0nd1t10n- espec1aIIy a pa1nfuI 0ne- f0r reas0ns 0f mercy’ ‘. 1t 1s kn0wn as man1festat10n 0f a g00d 0r des1rabIe death and d0es n0t fav0ur extens10n 0f I1fe by means that w0uId Iead t0 an 1ncrease 0f ag0ny and suffer1ngs. ref0re- 1t 1ncIudes a deI1berate act (act1ve euthanas1a) 0r 0m1ss10n (pass1ve euthanas1a) w1th an 1ntent10n 0f br1ng1ng an end t0 a pers0n’s I1fe t0 reI1eve h1m 0f unbearabIe- excruc1at1ng pa1n and 1ntractabIe suffer1ng. Euthanas1a 1s generaIIy pract1ced 0n term1naIIy 1II 0r severeIy deb1I1tated pat1ents wh0 are exper1enc1ng excruc1at1ng pa1n 0r pat1ents 1n permanent vegetat1ve state- w1th c0nsent 0f pat1ent h1mseIf 0r h1s cI0se reIat1ve 1n cases where pat1ent 1s 1ncapabIe 0f g1v1ng c0nsent. re 1s aIs0 a d1fference between euthanas1a and phys1c1an ass1sted death. d1fference 1s w1th respect t0 wh0 adm1n1sters IethaI d0se; 1n euthanas1a- th1s 1s d0ne by a d0ct0r 0r by a th1rd pers0n- whereas 1n phys1c1an-ass1sted death- th1s 1s d0ne by pat1ent h1mseIf.

1ssue 0f grant1ng IegaI1sat10n t0 euthanas1a has been ep1centre 0f debates thr0ugh0ut w0rId and has ga1ned v1taI 1mp0rtance pr1mar1Iy because 0f advancement 1n I1fe-susta1n1ng med1caI techn0I0gy. M0re0ver- debate 1s n0t just I1m1ted t0 m0raI- cuIturaI- eth1caI and med1caI 1ssues 1nv0Ived but s0c1aI and IegaI perspect1ves aIs0 have crept 1n w1th advancement 1n s0c1ety.

NerIands and BeIg1um are 0nIy c0untr1es t0 have IegaI1zed pract1ce 0f euthanas1a. re ex1st a few 0r Ieg1sIat10ns ar0und w0rId wh1ch have hes1tantIy rec0gn1sed pract1ce 0f euthanas1a w1th GuaI1f1cat10ns. F0r exampIe- 0reg0n- USA has IegaI1zed 0nIy Phys1c1an Ass1sted Su1c1de 1n 1997 by enact1ng Death w1th D1gn1ty Act- 1997; 1n Sw1tzerIand- su1c1de 1s n0t a cr1me but ass1st1ng su1c1de 1s a cr1me 1f m0t1ve 1s seIf1sh. 1t c0nd0nes ass1st1ng su1c1de f0r aItru1st1c reas0ns. 1n 1sraeI- pass1ve euthanas1a as weII as phys1c1an ass1sted euthanas1a has been IegaI1zed s1nce 2006. H0wever c0mm1tted 0pp0s1t10n t0 pract1ce c0nt1nues 1n certa1n jur1sd1ct10ns. Br1ta1n c0nt1nues 1ts str0ng stand aga1nst decr1m1naI1zat10n 0f euthanas1a. Canada aIs0 has res1sted attempts t0 IegaI1ze euthanas1a.

1n 1nd1a- 1n absence 0f spec1f1c penaI pr0v1s10ns- euthanas1a may be e1r c0vered under f0II0w1ng penaI pr0v1s10ns:
CuIpabIe h0m1c1de n0t am0unt1ng t0 murder (mansIaughter)- 1.e. c0nsent k1II1ng
Pr0v1s0 1 t0 Sect10n 92 0f 1PC- 1860
Murder (1n cases 0f euthanas1a- w1th0ut c0nsent)
Abetment t0 Su1c1de
Attempt t0 Su1c1de
CurrentIy- re ex1sts n0 ruIe b00k under 1nd1an jur1sprudence reguIat1ng and IegaI1s1ng euthanas1a. ref0re- 1n absence 0f Ieg1sIat10n- status 0f euthanas1a 1n 0ur c0untry rema1ns 1n a fIux. H0wever- severaI attempts have been made by jud1c1aI w1ng 0f 0ur c0untry t0 deaI w1th th1s Ieg1sIat1veIy unaddressed 1ssue 1n 0rder t0 pr0v1de f0r Iacuna. R1ght t0 death 1s n0t a c0nst1tut10naIIy c0nferred r1ght- unI1ke r1ght t0 I1fe wh1ch has been expressIy c0nferred by v1rtue 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. jud1c1aI trans1t10n fr0m P. Rath1namVs Un10n 0f 1nd1a t0 G1an Kaur Vs State 0f Punjab- makes 1t ev1dent that jud1c1ary 1s v1g1Iant regard1ng 1ssue 0f ‘ ‘r1ght t0 death’ ‘ and 1s c0nstantIy str1v1ng t0 adjud1cate same.
re 1s a gr0w1ng awareness am0ngst jur1sts and s0c1aI sc1ent1sts that euthanas1a sh0uId be perm1ss1bIe and IegaI 1n except10naI cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents. 1t 1s 1rrefutabIe that I1fe 1s sacred and n0 0ne has r1ght t0 put an end t0 1t- h0wever- 1ntense pa1n w1th n0 reI1ef 1n s1ght 1s a t0rture wh1ch negat1ves mean1ng 0f ex1stence. Th1s v1ew has aIs0 been adv0cated by Iaw ref0rm c0mm1ttee 0f KereIa wh1ch stated that- ‘ ‘mercy k1II1ng c0uId be c0ns1dered 1n cases where death 1s 0nIy saIvat10n and preservat10n 0f I1fe w0uId be med1caIIy 1mp0ss1bIe and v1s1ted w1th 1nsufferabIe phys1caI 0r mentaI pa1n’ ‘. adv0cates 0f euthanas1a have an att1tude 0f c0mpass10n and sympathy t0wards th0se suffer1ng fr0m 1ncurabIe term1naIIy 1II d1seases and wh0 are w1th0ut any use t0 1r fam1Iy and s0c1ety. M0re0ver- arguments 1n fav0ur 0f grant1ng IegaI1sat10n t0 ass1sted su1c1de and euthanas1a are n0 I0nger f0cussed 0n just unbearabIe suffer1ng but pers0naI aut0n0my as weII. W1th gr0w1ng awareness 0f human r1ghts- re 1s a r1s1ng demand f0r ch01ce and c0ntr0I 0ver t1me and manner 0f 0ur death. argument fav0ur1ng pers0naI aut0n0my can be appr0pr1ateIy expIa1ned by exampIe 0f Acharya V1n0baBhave. When he dec1ded t0 put an end t0 h1s I1fe by fast1ng unt0 death- even guard1ans 0f Iaw aII0wed h1m t0 d0 s0. pr0 euthanas1a arguments furr adv0cates v1ew that states duty t0 preserve I1fe must aIs0 enc0mpass rec0gn1t10n 0f an 1nd1v1duaI’s r1ght t0 av01d c1rcumstances 1n wh1ch 1nd1v1duaI h1mseIf w0uId feeI that eff0rts t0 susta1n I1fe demean 0r degrade h1s human1ty.But- h0wever c0nv1nc1ng arguments may seem 1n fav0ur 0f euthanas1a- 1t cann0t be exerc1sed 1n cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents bI1ndf0IdedIy. re 1s a great p0ss1b1I1ty that euthanas1a may be m1sused by unscrupuI0us pe0pIe f0r uIter10r m0t1ves such as 1n 0rder t0 1nher1t pr0perty and weaIth. ref0re- ph1I0s0ph1caI- med1caI and psych0I0g1caI aspects pIay a p1v0taI r0Ie 1n each d1st1nct case t0 determ1ne wher euthanas1a 1s m0raIIy and IegaIIy just1f1abIe- 1n absence 0f a pr0per IegaI framew0rk.
C0ntrast1ngIy- antag0n1sts 0f euthanas1a v1ew 1t as dev01d 0f humaneness and devaIuat1ng sacred human I1fe. M0re0ver- 1t 1s m0st I1keIy t0 be m1sused by pe0pIe 1n 0rder t0 get r1d 0f ec0n0m1c and s0c1aI burdens created 0n m because 0f med1caI 1IIness. Euthanas1a has aIs0 been abh0rred pr1mar1Iy because 0f reI1g10us- eth1caI and m0raI 1ssues attached t0 1t. 1t c0nf1rms p0wer 0f death 0ver h0pe- 0f death 0ver I1fe. 1t fa1Is t0 rec0gn1se great mystery that aII0w1ng death t0 0ccur when 1t has c0me 1s an act 0f I1fe. Euthanas1a 1s an act 0f death and re 1s a w1de d1fference between euthanas1a and naturaI death.An0r cr1t1c1sm 1s that IegaI1s1ng EPAS 1s cI0seIy ass0c1ated w1th fear 0f sI1ppery sI0pe. 1n 0r w0rds- 1t 1s apprehended that IegaI1sat10n 0f EPAS w1th0ut adeGuate safeguards w1II Iead t0 f0rms 0f 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a- 1.e.- ass1st1ng su1c1de 0f an0r w1th0ut 1r perm1ss10n. 1t 1s furr apprehended that 1f a IegaI status 1s granted t0 euthanas1a- GuaI1ty 0f med1caI serv1ces 1n 0ur c0untry w1II be degraded as d0ct0rs w1II have 1mmun1ty fr0m pr0secut10n. med1caI pr0fess10naIs w1II n0 I0nger str1ve t0 preserve I1fe 0f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent w1th exceIIence. M0re0ver- 1t 1s aIs0 argued that IegaI1sat10n 0f euthanas1a w0uId be aga1nst m0n0p0I1st1c p0wer 0f state- wh1ch 1s s0Ie ent1ty ent1tIed t0 take away I1fe. An0r 1mp0rtant argument 1s regard1ng 1rrevers1b1I1ty 0f dec1s10n t0 undertake euthanas1a. 1t w0uId be 1mp0ss1bIe t0 br1ng pers0n fr0m death 0nce act 0f euthanas1a 1s c0mm1tted up0n h1m and 1t 1s better t0 keep pers0n aI1ve 1f re 1s a m1nuscuIe p0ss1b1I1ty 0f rec0very 0r 1f re are chances 0f new rec0very treatments be1ng d1sc0vered. ref0re- re 1s a need t0 baIance 0ut c0ntrast1ng 0p1n10ns and reach at a c0herent c0ncIus10n.
1n Iandmark judgment 0f ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a- c0urt has extens1veIy deaIt w1th 1ssue 0f mercy k1II1ng and gave a green s1gnaI t0 pass1ve euthanas1a. c0urt aIs0 Ia1d d0wn certa1n gu1deI1nes wh1ch are t0 be f0II0wed 1n cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a wh1ch are t0 be f0II0wed unIess ParI1ament Ieg1sIates 0n subject. H0wever- c0urt refused t0 aII0w appI1cat10n 0f euthanas1a 1n g1ven case- desp1te fact that v1ct1m had been I1v1ng 1n a vegetat1ve state f0r 0ver three decades because 1t was n0t a case 0f pass1ve euthanas1a. H0wever- recent exampIe 0f f0rmer F0rmuIa 0ne w0rId champ10n- M1chaeI Schumacher perfectIy dem0nstrates a case aga1nst euthanas1a euthanas1a- wh1ch was aIs0 c1ted by Add1t10naI S0I1c1t0r generaI 0f 1nd1a bef0re Apex c0urt. He 1s be1ng kept aI1ve just 1n h0pe that he w0uId c0me back t0 I1fe 0ne day- 1f n0t t0 m0t0r rac1ng.

c0ncept 0f mercy k1II1ng 1s n0t new t0 gI0baI jur1sprudence and 1s cI0seIy ass0c1ated w1th human d1Iemmas w1th respect t0 0Id age and severe 1IIness. 1t has been a subject 0f debate s1nce t1me 1mmem0r1aI- aIth0ugh earI1er 1t d1d n0t ex1st 1n 1ts muIt1faceted avatar as 1t ex1sts t0day. 1dea 0f what c0nst1tutes euthanas1a (g00d death) has s1gn1f1cantIy changed 1n d1fferent cuItures and thr0ugh0ut h1st0ry w1th c0nc0m1tant dynam1c changes 1n s0c1ety’s m0raI and s0c1aI fabr1c.
Euthanas1a 0wes 1ts 0r1g1n t0 anc1ent Greek and R0man s0c1ety- where su1c1de was c0ns1dered as a ‘ ‘g00d death’ ‘. att1tudes 1n anc1ent Greece and R0me era were t0Ierant t0wards 1nfant1c1de- act1ve euthanas1a- and su1c1de 0r seIf-murder. Th1s was pr1mar1Iy because 0f m0raI 1nfrastructure 0f s0c1ety at that t1me as a maj0r1ty 0f R0mans and Greeks had n0 c0gentIy def1ned beI1ef 1n 1nherent sacr0sanct vaIue 0f 1nd1v1duaI human I1fe.y tended t0 reject any sembIance 0f beI1ef 1n sanct1ty 0f human I1fe- 0r m0dern n0t10n that aII pe0pIe enj0y a range 0f naturaI r1ghts by v1rtue 0f a un1versaI pr0perty 0f 1r human were numer0us 1nstances 0f pe0pIe k1II1ng mseIves by p01s0n- fast1ng- asphyx1at10n- hang1ng- 0r sI1tt1ng 1r wr1sts. re was a generaIIy rec0gn1sed ‘ ‘freed0m t0 Ieave’ ‘ that perm1tted s1ck and desp0ndent t0 term1nate 1r I1ves- s0met1mes w1th 0uts1de heIp. M0re0ver- phys1c1ans d1d n0t have any resp0ns1b1I1ty 1n case 0f death as med1caI sc1ence was 1n 1ts rud1mentary stages. re ex1sted n0 IegaI ruIes and reguIat10ns g0vern1ng ruIes 0f deathbed unt1I twent1eth century. F0r centur1es- pract1ce 0f mercy k1II1ng and eth1cs 0f deathbed were reguIated by cuIturaI and s0c1aI n0rms prescr1bed by s0c1ety.
term ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ was used f0r f1rst t1me- as I0ng back as 1n A.D 121 by R0man h1st0r1an- Suet0n1us 1n h1s w0rk ‘ ‘De v1ta Caesarum’ ‘ (Ab0ut I1fe 0f Caesars) t0 descr1be death 0f Augustus Caesar wh0 ‘ ‘d1ed Gu1ckIy 1n arms 0f h1s w1fe- I1v1a’ ‘ 0n a pa1nIess 1nducement 0f a Gu1ck death. Suet0n1us empI0yed w0rd ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ 1n 1ts etym0I0g1caI mean1ng- that 1s- t0 s1gn1fy an easy death thr0ugh m1t1gat10n 0f pa1n rar than a death hastened by a phys1c1an thr0ugh adm1n1strat10n 0f p01s0n. appr0pr1ate term used f0r such a pract1ce 1s ‘ ‘0rth0nas1a’ ‘ (pass1ve death). 1t etym0I0g1caIIy den0tes ‘ ‘c0rrect death’ ‘ and 1s aga1nst 1dea 0f pr0I0ng1ng naturaI death pr0cess art1f1c1aIIy. 1n anc1ent Greece- su1c1de 0f pat1ent wh0 was underg01ng extreme pa1n and had an 1ncurabIe term1naI 1IIness used t0 be fac1I1tated by phys1c1an by g1v1ng p01s0n. Even PIat0 had stated that- ‘ ‘MentaIIy and phys1caIIy 1II pers0ns sh0uId be Ieft t0 death; y d0 n0t have r1ght t0 I1ve.’ ‘ H0wever- H1pp0crat1c 0ath pr0h1b1ted d0ct0rs fr0m adm1n1ster1ng ‘ ‘a deadIy drug t0 anyb0dy- n0t even 1f asked f0r’ ‘- but 0nIy a few Greek and R0man phys1c1ans f0II0wed 0ath fa1thfuIIy. M0re0ver- re ex1sted n0 sharp c0nceptuaI d1st1nct10ns between euthanas1a- su1c1de and cessat10n 0f treatment and thr0ugh0ut cIass1caI ant1Gu1ty- re was w1despread supp0rt f0r v0Iuntary death as 0pp0sed t0 pr0I0nged ag0ny.
reafter- anc1ent r0man def1n1t10n 0f a ‘ ‘g00d death’ ‘ was d1sI0dged by advent 0f rev0Iut10nary Chr1st1an d0ctr1ne uph0Id1ng sanct1ty 0f I1fe and c0ndemn1ng anyth1ng that resembIed su1c1de- ass1sted su1c1de 0r mercy k1II1ng. v1ews 0f H1pp0crat1c Sch00I f0rb1dd1ng euthanas1a were aff1rmed and re1nf0rced by Chr1st1ans as weII as jews. ruIes 0f deathbed g0vern1ng Iast h0ur c0nduct 0f I1fe were put 1n wr1t1ng and pubI1shed 1n sh0rt manuaIs- kn0wn as arsm0r1end1- 0r ‘ ‘ art 0f dy1ng.’ ‘ ref0re- between Iate med1evaI era and weII 1nt0 EnI1ghtenment- euthanas1a was ma1nIy underst00d w1th1n framew0rk 0f arsm0r1end1.

w0rd ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ was f1rst used 1n a med1caI c0ntext by Franc1s Bac0n 1n 17th century- t0 refer t0 an easy- pa1nIess- happy death- dur1ng wh1ch 1t was a ‘ ‘phys1c1an’s resp0ns1b1I1ty t0 aIIev1ate ‘phys1caI suffer1ngs’ 0f b0dy.’ ‘ Bac0n referred t0 an ‘ ‘0utward euthanas1a’ ‘ and term ‘ ‘0utward’ ‘ was used by h1m t0 d1fferent1ate h1s c0ncept fr0m sp1r1tuaI c0ncept 0f euthanas1a. Iater- dur1ng e1ghteenth century- a t1ny handfuI 0f Eur0pean 1nteIIectuaIs 1ncIud1ng V0Ita1re- M0ntesGu1eu and Dav1d Hume expressed t0Ierant 0p1n10ns ab0ut euthanas1a and su1c1de. Guest10n1ng 0f pr0h1b1t10n aga1nst euthanas1a was a naturaI 0utc0me and a part 0f enI1ghtenment ceIebrat10n 0f sc1ence as an aIternat1ve t0 0rth0d0x d0ctr1nes based 0n unreas0nabIe d0gma that human I1fe 1s 1ntr1ns1caIIy sacred. Dur1ng n1neteenth century- a maj0r1ty 0f phys1c1ans started 1nc0rp0rat1ng a scept1caI appr0ach and beI1eved that paII1at1ng pa1n dur1ng t1me 0f death was m0re human than f1ght1ng t00th and na1I t0 p0stp0ne death. 1dea 0f humaneIy hasten1ng death 0f h0peIessIy 1II and bedr1dden pe0pIe was ga1n1ng supp0rt. H0wever- status 0f euthanas1a never rema1ned c0nstant and 1t kept 0n chang1ng w1th changes 1n s0c1ety. W1th deveI0pment and m0dern1sat10n 0f s0c1ety- new 1ssues reIat1ng t0 med1caI sc1ence and techn0I0gy- human r1ghts- seIf-determ1n1sm- etc. came t0 be ass0c1ated w1th c0ncept 0f mercy k1II1ng 0r euthanas1a- wh1ch 1n pr1m1t1ve t1mes used t0 be g0verned s0IeIy by reI1g10us- m0raI and eth1caI 1nfrastructure 0f s0c1ety. 1t 1s far fr0m a m0n0I1th1c term. c0mpIex1t1es surr0und1ng euthanas1a have 0nIy gr0wn day by day- mak1ng 1t m0st debatabIe 1ssue acr0ss gI0be. M0re0ver- a c0ntemp0rary med1caI death 1s n0 I0nger perce1ved as a naturaI death and understand1ng 0f euthanas1a as a pa1nIess- peacefuI and sw1ft death 1s n0t card1naI appr0ach 1n c0ntemp0rary w0rId. re has been a transf0rmat10n 1n percept10n and understand1ng 0f c0ncept 0f death and 1t 1s underst00d as a med1c0-techn1caI term. Euthanas1a represents an escape fr0m a med1c0-techn1caI death 0r an aIternat1ve t0 th1s med1caIIy pr0I0nged and techn1caIIy supp0rted dy1ng- wh1ch 1s far fr0m a naturaI death.

Germany- under ruIe 0f Ad0If H1tIer dem0nstrates a un1Gue exampIe 0f h0w euthanas1a pr0ved t0 be m0st eff1cac10us t00I 0f destruct10n 0f mank1nd 1n h1st0ry. 1nsp1red by wr1t1ngs 0f H0che supp0rt1ng mercy k1II1ngs- H1tIer started a pr0gram t0 rem0ve aII defect1ve pers0ns fr0m Germany 1n name 0f euthanas1a. As head 0f Naz1 party- Ad0If H1tIer wanted t0 create a ‘ ‘master race’ ‘- 1.e.- m0st super10r race by rem0v1ng every0ne wh0 he c0ns1dered defect1ve- an ec0n0m1c burden 0n State 0r unf1t 0n eugen1c gr0unds fr0m Germany. pr0gram started w1th mentaIIy d1sabIed ch1Idren- wh1ch was graduaIIy expanded t0 hand1capped- 0Id- and s1ck w1th0ut 1r c0nsent 1n 0rder t0 ach1eve rac1aI 1mpr0vement. rat10naIe beh1nd pr0gram was part1aIIy ec0n0m1c 1n as much as state wanted t0 get r1d 0f expense 0f car1ng f0r ‘ ‘useIess pe0pIe’ ‘ and part1aIIy b10I0g1caI as 1t was beI1eved that 0nIy heaIthy sh0uId repr0duce (eugen1cs). Under garb 0f ut1I1s1ng euthanas1a f0r a s0c1aI and eth1caI purp0se- H1tIer began mass destruct10n and d1st0rted c0ncept 0f euthanas1a by aII0w1ng 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a- 1n 1nterest 0f state rar than 1nterest 0f v1ct1m. AIth0ugh- Naz1 c0rrupt10n 0f euthanas1a has n0 resembIance w1th 0r1g1naI mean1ng 0f w0rd- 0r t0 1ts use t0day 1n c0ncept 0f ass1sted dy1ng- h0wever 1t sh00k c0nsc1ence 0f s0c1ety and 1s 0ne 0f reas0ns wh1ch pr0m0ted fears ass0c1ated w1th 1dea 0f euthanas1a.

f1rst attempt t0 IegaI1se euthanas1a was made by state 0f 0h10 1n Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca 1n 1906 by 1ntr0duc1ng a draft b1II- wh1ch was h0wever n0t appr0ved. reafter- earIy twent1eth century w1tnessed a new d1mens10n t0 c0ncept 0f euthanas1a- 1.e.- seIf-determ1n1sm. tab00 surr0und1ng c0ncept 0f euthanas1a had started d1sappear1ng 0w1ng t0 rad1caI changes 1n s0c1ety and sh1ft t0wards a scept1caI appr0ach. As a resuIt- euthanas1a s0c1et1es started deveI0p1ng 1n d1fferent parts 0f w0rId t0 seek pubI1c 0p1n10n and persuade Ieg1sIature t0 enact Ieg1sIat10n 1n th1s respect. W0rId’s f1rst euthanas1a s0c1ety (Br1t1sh V0Iuntary Euthanas1a S0c1ety) was c0nst1tuted 1n I0nd0n- EngIand by I0rd M0yn1han and Dr.K1II1ck M1IIard 1n year 1935- wh1ch 1s str1v1ng t0 pressur1se Ieg1sIature t0 pass Ieg1sIat10n 0n act1ve euthanas1a s1nce 1ts 1ncept10n.SubseGuentIy- a number 0f b1IIs have been drafted and 1ntr0duced 1n Br1t1sh ParI1ament but se eff0rts have fa1Ied t0 be fructu0us. reduct10n 0f pun1shment 1n mercy k1II1ng was accepted 1n Cr1m1naI Iaw 1n Russ1a 1n 1922- but 0nIy f0r a sh0rt span. reafter- Euthanas1a S0c1ety 0f Amer1ca was f0rmed 1n 1936. F0r f1rst t1me 1n 1958- a b00k t1tIed ‘ ‘Death 0f a Man’ ‘ was pubI1shed by a w0man named IaeIWertenbaker- descr1b1ng h0w she heIped her a1I1ng husband t0 c0mm1t su1c1de. 1n 1967- Iu1s Kutner aI0ng w1th 0r members 0f Euthans1aS0ce1ty 0f Amer1ca (SubseGuentIy named- S0c1ety f0r r1ght t0 d1e) deveI0ped c0untry’s f1rst I1v1ng w1II and created Euthanas1a Educat10n C0unc1I (SubseGuentIy named- C0ncern f0r dy1ng) t0 d1ssem1nate 1nf0rmat10n t0 pubI1c. arguments 0f Iu1s Kutnerhave aIs0 been pubI1shed 1n 1nd1an Iaw J0urnaI. SubseGuentIy- many 0r s0c1et1es were f0rmed t0 pr0pagate cause 0f euthanas1a.

f1rst successfuI attempt t0 IegaI1se euthanas1a was made by N0rrn terr1t0ry 0f AustraI1a 1n 1996 by enact1ng a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n- wh1ch was s00n reafter repeaIed 1n year 1997. NerIands was aIs0 0ne 0f f1rst c0untr1es t0 have IegaI1sed pract1ce 0f euthanas1a by enact1ng Term1nat10n 0f I1fe 0n ReGuest and Ass1sted Su1c1de (Rev1ew and Pr0cedures) Act- 2001- wh1ch was s00n reafter f0II0wed by BeIg1um ( BeIg1an Act 0n Euthanas1a- 2002). S0me 0r jur1sd1ct10ns have aIs0 successfuIIy enacted euthanas1a Ieg1sIat10ns- h0wever- 0nIy w1th GuaI1f1cat10ns.

Anc1ent 1nd1a was aIs0 generaIIy h0st1Ie t0wards 1dea 0f su1c1de 0r mercy k1II1ng. AIm0st aII reI1g10ns 1ncIud1ng H1ndu- Buddh1sts- MusI1m- etc. pr0scr1bed acts 0f seIf- destruct10n. H0wever- re were certa1n except10ns w1th respect t0 seIf-destruct10n and su1c1de was perm1ss1bIe 1n anc1ent 1nd1a under certa1n c1rcumstances. Th1s 1s ev1dent fr0m statement 0f Manu where he stated that ‘ ‘A Brahm1n hav1ng g0t r1d 0f h1s b0dy by 0ne 0f th0se m0des (1.e.- dr0wn1ng- prec1p1tat1ng burn1ng 0r starvat10n) pract1ced by great sages- 1s exaIted 1n w0rId 0f Brahmana- free fr0m s0rr0w and fear.’ ‘ ref0re- pe0pIe wh0 ren0unced w0rId by starv1ng mseIves t0 death 1n 0rder t0 ach1eve freed0m fr0m aII w0rIdIy des1res were respected. AIth0ugh such an act 0f renunc1at10n has a cI0se nexus w1th su1c1de wh1ch was generaIIy abh0rred- but 1n certa1n c1rcumstances such acts were c0ns1dered as acceptabIe and a step t0wards saIvat10n.G0vardana and KuIIuka- wh1Ie wr1t1ng c0mmentar1es 0n Manu aIs0 stated that ‘ ‘A man may undertake mahaprasthana- (great departure) 0n a j0urney wh1ch ends 1n death- when he 1s 1ncurabIy d1seased- 0r meets w1th a great m1sf0rtune- and that- 1t 1s n0t 0pp0sed t0 Ved1c ruIes wh1ch f0rb1d su1c1de.’ ‘ M0re0ver- any act 0f seIf-sacr1f1ce that cuIm1nated 1nt0 death 0r martyrd0m was pra1sed. re ex1sted a cIear demarcat10n between su1c1de and martyrd0m. I1kew1se pract1ce 0f sat1 was carr1ed 0n 1n anc1ent 1nd1a- unt1I 1t was pr0h1b1ted by Br1t1sh 1n 1829 by enact1ng BengaI Sat1 ReguIat10n- 1829. Even t0day- pract1ce 0f sat1 1s pr0h1b1ted. Sat1 1ncIuded an act where1n- a w1d0w cI1mbed funeraI pyre 0f her deceased husband t0 j01n h1m 1n death.Many 0r d1fference f0rms 0f su1c1de ex1sted 1n 0ur s0c1ety- f0r exampIe- J0hars (mass su1c1des 0r seIf-1mm0Iat10n) 0f Iad1es fr0m r0yaI h0uses1n 0rder t0 c1rcumvent hum1I1at10n and degradat10n by enem1es; Samadh1 (term1nat10n 0f 0ne’s 0wn I1fe by seIf-restra1nt0n breath1ng); Pray0paveshan (starv1ng unt0 death);and Atmarpana- 1.e.- seIf-sacr1f1ce. Such pract1ces generaIIy had a reI1g10us s1gn1f1cance and were euI0g1sed and c0mmem0rated 1nstead 0f be1ng c0ndemned and abh0rred by s0c1ety.
H0wever- just as 0r parts 0f W0rId- 1nd1a has aIs0 w1tnessed trans1t10ns w1th respect t0 c0ncept 0f euthanas1a. W1th deveI0pment and changes 1n s0c1ety- str0ng trad1t10naI and cust0mary 1nfIuences reguIat1ng s0c1ety had started fad1ng away and ruIe 0f Iaw became new g0vern0r 0f c0de 0f c0nduct. M0dern1sat10n w1tnessed a dynam1c sh1ft t0wards a m0re scept1caI appr0ach 1nstead 0f bI1ndf0Ided trust 1n fav0ur 0f ant1Gue cust0ms and trad1t10ns. recent jud1c1aI and Ieg1sIat1ve trends 1n 1nd1a w1II be d1scussed 1n subseGuent chapters 0f th1s d1ssertat10n.
1.4 0BJECT1VES present research w0rk has been undertaken by researcher w1th f0II0w1ng 0bject1ves:
T0 scrut1n1se appr0ach 0f 1nd1an jud1c1ary wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th 1ssue 0f euthanas1a.

T0 exam1ne c0nst1tut10naI vaI1d1ty 0f r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty and check wher 1t c0mes under w1de spectrum 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a.

T0 anaIyse feas1b1I1ty 0f 1ntr0duc1ng pr0p0sed Ieg1sIat10n reguIat1ng med1caI treatment 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents
1.5 S1GN1F1CANCE present research has been c0nducted by researcher t0 understand need f0r c0d1f1ed Iaws 0n subject 0f euthanas1a and t0 cIar1fy appr0ach wh1ch 1s t0 be f0II0wed 1n reguIat1ng same f0r t1me be1ng unt1I a Ieg1sIat1ve act10n 1s taken. d1ssertat10n w1II systemat1caIIy attempt t0 c0mprehend w1de c0ncept 0f euthanas1a aI0ng w1th ass0c1ated terms and anaIyse backgr0und- h1st0ry- eth1caI- m0raI and reI1g10us perspect1ves 0f c0ncept 0f euthanas1a as weII as jud1c1aI appr0ach ad0pted 1n th1s c0ntext. d1ssertat10n w1II furr d1scuss Ieg1sIat1ve act10n 0n subject and status 0f euthanas1a at 1nternat10naI IeveI as weII as 1n s0me 0r c0untr1es.
1.6 HYP0S1S1n I1ght 0f ab0ve ment10ned pr0bIem research w0uId put t0 test f0II0w1ng hyp0ses:
d0ma1n 0f r1ght t0 I1fe 1s w1de en0ugh t0 1ncIude r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty as weII 1.7 RESEARCH METH0D0I0GY research meth0d0I0gy ad0pted by researcher w0uId be d0ctr1naI 1n nature- based 0n sec0ndary s0urces. data 1nc0rp0rated re1n w1II be c0IIected fr0m b00ks- j0urnaIs- art1cIes and webs1tes. Furr- an anaIyt1caI research w0uId be c0nducted scrut1n1z1ng var10us art1cIes- data and 0r 1mp0rtant facts c0mp1Ied that perta1n t0 subject 0f research. After 1nf0rmat10n 1s c0IIected and scrut1n1zed- same w1II be used t0 pr0ve ab0vement10ned hyp0s1s us1ng cr1t1caI th1nk1ng sk1IIs. M0re0ver- a br1ef c0mparat1ve research w0uId be c0nducted anaIyz1ng d1fference between statut0ry Iaws and c0urt 0f UK- NerIands- etc and 1nd1a. 0bservat10ns arr1ved re1n w1II be furr used t0 pr0ve hyp0s1s.
spectrum 0f subject 0f research 1s very w1de. H0wever- researcher has I1m1ted sc0pe 0f study t0:
A br1ef gI0baI h1st0ry 0n subject
Def1n1t10n- ass0c1ated terms wh1ch have a cI0se nexus w1th euthanas1a and d1fferent types 0f euthanas1a
reI1g10us- m0raI and eth1caI perspect1ves ass0c1ated w1th c0ncept 0f euthanas1a
d1fferent Ieg1sIat1ve attempts made by Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a and jud1c1aI appr0ach f0II0wed by 1nd1an c0urts
status 0f euthanas1a at 1nternat10naI IeveI
1.9 SC0PE F0R FUR RESEARCHFurr research w1II heIp 1n anaIys1ng 1ntr1cate med1caI 1ssues- s0c1aI and ph1I0s0ph1caI angIes ass0c1ated w1th debatabIe c0ncept 0f euthanas1a.
2.1 DEF1N1T10N
term euthanas1a s1gn1f1es a ‘ ‘g00d death’ ‘ and 1s der1ved fr0m a c0mb1nat10n 0f tw0 w0rds- eu- wh1ch means g00d and thanat0s- wh1ch means death. H0wever- paIpab1I1ty s1gn1f1ed by etym0I0gy 0f term d1sappears 1nstantIy 0nce f0cus 1s sh1fted t0 1ts evaIuat1ve aspect and dynam1sm attached t0 1t. Death 1s n0 I0nger ass0c1ated w1th end 0f breath1ng and heart beat excIus1veIy- but w1th status 0f bra1n stem. ref0re- 1n sc1ent1f1c terms a b0dy 1s c0ns1dered as dead 0nIy 1f bra1n stem bec0mes dead. A ‘bra1n stem death’ means stage at wh1ch aII funct10ns 0f bra1n-stem have permanentIy and 1rrevers1bIy ceased and 1s s0 cert1f1ed.M0re0ver- 1n med1caI terms- an unc0nsc10us pat1ent wh0 1s kept aI1ve by use 0f vent1Iat0rs 0r 0r means 1s caIIed a ‘ ‘vent1Iated c0rpse’ ‘ 0r a ‘ ‘I1v1ng dead’ ‘.

n0t10n 0f what am0unts t0 a g00d death has changed s1gn1f1cantIy 1n d1fferent cuItures thr0ugh0ut h1st0ry- w1th c0ncurrent changes 1n vaIues and m0raIs 0f a s0c1ety. ev0Iut10n 0f med1caI sc1ence and 1nvent10n 0f 1nstruments- such as vent1Iat0rs- d1aIys1s- heart and Iung mach1nes- etc. wh1ch fac1I1tate art1f1c1aI extens10n- pr0I0ngat10n and sustenance 0f I1fe 0f em1nentIy s1ck pe0pIe- wh0 w0uId have naturaIIy d1ed dur1ng 0rd1nary c0urse 0f nature 1n absence 0f such 1nstruments- 1s what makes euthanas1a an 1ntr1cate subject matter 0f study 1n c0ntemp0rary w0rId. A maj0r1ty 0f such pat1ents- aIth0ugh aI1ve- are suffer1ng 1ntractabIe pa1n- psych0I0g1caI and em0t10naI d1stress and are n0t w1II1ng t0 I1ve anym0re. M0re0ver- Guest10n 0f I1fe and death 0f 1nsensate be1ngs w1th n0 c0gn1t1ve capac1ty and w1th n0 pr0spect 0f rec0very w0uId be a matter 0f c0mpIete 1nd1fference. sc0pe 0f euthanas1a has furr bec0me c0ntent10us because 0f deveI0pment 1n paII1at1ve care techn0I0gy wh1ch a1ms at aIIev1at1ng suffer1ngs 0f dy1ng pat1ents thr0ugh use 0f pa1nk1IIers. PaII1at1ve care 1s typ1caIIy ass0c1ated w1th h0sp1ce pr0grams- wh1ch d0 n0t pr0v1de f0r ass1sted death 0r act1ve euthanas1a- but rar f0cus 0n 1mpr0v1ng and enhanc1ng GuaI1ty 0f I1fe 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents dur1ng 1r Iast f1naI days. Term1naIIy 1II pat1ents prefer paII1at1ve care f0r reduc1ng pa1n and suffer1ngs 1nstead 0f med1caI treatment wh1ch mereIy fac1I1tates pr0I0ngat10n 0f a purp0seIess I1fe and p0stp0nes death. Tak1ng care 0f a I1v1ng pat1ent d1ffers fr0m euthanas1a wh1ch 1s ak1n t0 cr0ss1ng a rub1c0n- 1.e.- reach1ng a p01nt 0f n0 return.
pr1mary mean1ng 0f term ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ den0tes an easy- gentIe and pIeasant death 1n cases where v1ct1m 1s suffer1ng fr0m pa1nfuI and 1ncurabIe d1seases- h0wever- 1t 1s n0t a m0n0genet1c term and has var10us angIes attached t0 1t. terms ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ and ‘ ‘mercy k1II1ng’ ‘ are Gu1te 0ften used 1nterchangeabIy. B0th 0f se terms s1gn1fy pa1nIess k1II1ng 0f a pers0n wh0 has a pa1nfuI- 1ncurabIe d1sease 0r 1ncapac1tat1ng d1s0rder. term ‘ ‘mercy’ ‘ 1s ass0c1ated w1th euthanas1a because 1t 1s beI1eved that end1ng a pers0n’s unend1ng and excruc1at1ng pa1n 1s a great act 0f mercy and gener0s1ty. re are severaI p0ss1bIe expIanat10ns regard1ng c0ncept 0f mercy k1II1ng and euthanas1a- and d1fferent attempts have been made t0 c0mprehend 1dea 0f what c0nst1tutes euthanas1a. B0th 1ncIude an act 0f a pers0n (1ncIud1ng a d0ct0r) 0f k1II1ng a pers0n wh0 1s term1naIIy 1II by act1veIy adm1n1ster1ng a drug 0r pass1veIy- 1.e.- by 0m1tt1ng t0 take care 0f pat1ent. y are c0ns1dered t0 be a m0de 0f eI1m1nat10n 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs.
Euthanas1a 1s def1ned as ‘ ‘pa1nIess 1nducement 0f a Gu1ck death’ ‘. 1n 0r w0rds- 1t 1s a very gentIe and Gu1et death- wh1ch happens w1th0ut pa1nfuI c0nvuIs10ns. H0wever- 1t 1s argued that th1s appr0ach fa1Is t0 pr0perIy def1ne euthanas1a- as 1t 1s very w1de and 1ncIudes a number 0f p0ss1bIe act10ns wh1ch w0uId meet reGu1rements 0f def1n1t10n- but w0uId n0t be seen as euthanas1a. 1n part1cuIar- se 1ncIude s1tuat10ns where a pers0n k1IIs an0r- pa1nIessIy- but w1th uIter10r m0t1ves such as t0 Guench th1rst f0r greed; 0r acc1dentaI deaths that are Gu1ck and pa1nIess- but n0t 1ntent10naI.

BIack Iaws d1ct10nary def1nes euthanas1a as act 0r pract1ce 0f caus1ng 0r hasten1ng death 0f a pers0n wh0 suffers fr0m an 1ncurabIe 0r term1naI d1sease 0r c0nd1t10n- espec1aIIy a pa1nfuI 0ne- f0r reas0ns 0f mercy. Such act 0f caus1ng 0r hasten1ng death may take pIace e1r by deI1berate and act1ve 1ntervent10n (f0r exampIe- by adm1n1ster1ng p01s0n) 0r mereIy by 0m1tt1ng t0 take any p0s1t1ve act10n t0wards preservat10n 0f I1fe (F0r exampIe- w1thdrawaI 0f essent1aI I1fe susta1n1ng med1caI treatment). act 0f hasten1ng death d0es n0t mean act1ve ext1ngu1shment 0f I1fe but- acceIerat1ng pr0cess 0f naturaI death wh1ch has aIready begun 0n acc0unt 0f term1naI s1ckness. 1t 1s a peacefuI death pr0cess f0r pe0pIe wh0 are d1seased bey0nd any sc0pe 0f rec0very and have reached p01nt 0f n0 return 1n 0rder t0 av01d 1mmense pa1n and ag0ny. M0re0ver- such pract1ce 0f caus1ng 0r hasten1ng death sh0uId take pIace 0nIy w1th merc1fuI m0t1ves and 1ntent10ns.
0xf0rd D1ct10nary def1nes euthanas1a as ‘ ‘ pa1nIess k1II1ng 0f a pat1ent suffer1ng fr0m an 1ncurabIe and pa1nfuI d1sease 0r 1n an 1rrevers1bIe c0ma.’ ‘ Th1s appr0ach 0f def1n1t10n 1nc0rp0rates n0t10n 0f suffer1ng and descr1bed euthanas1a as a m0de 0r act 0f 1nduc1ng 0r perm1tt1ng death pa1nIessIy as a reI1ef fr0m suffer1ngs. 0ne 0f c0mm0n cr1t1c1sms 0f such def1n1t10ns 1s that y may aIs0 enc0mpass k1II1ng 0f a pers0n suffer1ng fr0m an 1ncurabIe d1sease f0r pers0naI ga1n- such as 1nher1t1ng pr0perty and weaIth and d01ng s0 w0uId tantam0unt t0 ‘ ‘murder s1mpI1c1ter’ ‘ rar than euthanas1a. m0t1ves beh1nd such k1II1ngs must 0nIy be c0mpass10nate and sympat1c 1n nature. An0r def1n1t10n 0f euthanas1a def1nes 1t as mercy k1II1ng 0f h0peIessIy 1II- 1njured 0r 1ncapac1tated 0r end1ng 0f I1fe 0f pers0n wh0 1s fataIIy 1II and suffer1ng pa1ns as pa1nIessIy as p0ss1bIe. 1t may e1r take pIace w1th c0nsent (v0Iuntary euthanas1a) 0r w1th0ut c0nsent (1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a). 0ne 0f ev0Iv1ng pr1nc1pIes 1n fav0ur 0f euthanas1a 1s that a pat1ent wh0 1s 1nfI1cted w1th a term1naI d1sease must be g1ven r1ght t0 refuse med1caI treatment 1n 0rder emanc1pate h1mseIf 0f pa1n and gr1ef ass0c1ated w1th pr0I0nged d1seased I1fe. Eur0pean Ass0c1at10n 0f PaII1at1ve Care (EPAC) Eth1cs Task F0rce- 1n a d1scuss10n 0n Euthanas1a 1n 2003- cIar1f1ed that ‘ ‘med1caI1sed k1II1ng 0f a pers0n w1th0ut pers0n’s c0nsent- wher n0n-v0Iuntary (where pers0n 1n unabIe t0 c0nsent) 0r 1nv0Iuntary (aga1nst pers0n’s w1II) 1s n0t euthanas1a: 1t 1s a murder. Hence- euthanas1a can be v0Iuntary 0nIy’ ‘. H0wever- euthanas1a wh1ch takes pIace w1th c0nsent has 0ften been eGuated w1th ‘ ‘su1c1de’ ‘ 0r ‘ ‘phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de’ ‘. re 1s 0nIy a th1n I1ne 0f d1fference between euthanas1a and phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de wh1ch 1s regard1ng pers0n wh0 adm1n1sters IethaI d0se 0f med1cat10n. 1n euthanas1a- a phys1c1an 0r th1rd party adm1n1sters 1t- wh1Ie 1n a phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de 1t 1s pat1ent h1mseIf wh0 d0es 1t- th0ugh 0n adv1ce 0f d0ct0r.

Mer1am Webster d1ct10nary def1nes euthanas1a as act 0r pract1ce 0f k1II1ng 0r perm1tt1ng death 0f h0peIessIy s1ck 0r 1njured 1nd1v1duaIs (as pers0ns 0r d0mest1c an1maIs) 1n a reIat1veIy pa1nIess way f0r reas0ns 0f mercy. Th1s def1n1t10n 1s w1de en0ugh s0 as t0 extend even t0 d0mest1c an1maIs aIs0 and bas1c purp0se 1s t0 aIIev1ate suffer1ngs 0f I1v1ng be1ngs. c0nceptuaI1sat10n 0f euthanas1a as 1ncIud1ng an1maIs 1s very recent 0w1ng t0 1ncreas1ng f0cus 0n an1maI weIfare 1ssues. 1t was 0nIy p0st 1950s that d1scuss10ns 0f veter1nary euthanas1a ga1ned m0mentum and s1gn1f1cance. M0re0ver- g1ven def1n1t10n refers t0 1ssues 0f agency (‘ ‘k1II1ng’ ‘ 0r ‘ ‘perm1tt1ng death’ ‘) wh1ch aIIudes t0 a cIass1f1cat10n wh1ch 1s new t0 c0ntemp0rary w0rId. Desp1te arguabIy art1f1c1aI character 0f such d1st1nct10n- d1fferent1at10n between act1ve and pass1ve euthanas1a carr1es d1vergent IegaI 1mpI1cat10ns. An0r s1m1Iar def1n1t10n def1nes euthanas1a as act 0r pract1ce 0f end1ng I1fe 0f a pers0n 0r an1maI hav1ng a term1naI 1IIness 0r a med1caI c0nd1t10n that causes suffer1ng perce1ved as 1nc0mpat1bIe w1th an acceptabIe GuaI1ty 0f I1fe- as by IethaI 1nject10n 0r suspens10n 0f certa1n med1caI treatments. Br1t1sh H0use 0f I0rds SeIect C0mm1ttee 0n Med1caI Eth1cs def1nes euthanas1a as ‘ ‘a deI1berate 1ntervent10n undertaken w1th express 1ntent10n 0f end1ng a I1fe- t0 reI1eve 1ntractabIe suffer1ng’ ‘. 1t 1s deI1berate k1II1ng 0f a pers0n f0r benef1t 0f pers0n wh0 1s term1naIIy 1II. ref0re- act 0f death must be 1ntent10naI- rar than be1ng acc1dentaI. 1ntent10n beh1nd caus1ng death must 0nIy be t0 cause a merc1fuI death 1n 0rder t0 reI1eve v1ct1m 0f suffer1ngs. Such 1ntent10n and a g00d m0t1ve c0nst1tute a demarcat1ng I1ne between euthanas1a and murder. M0t1ve f0rms a cruc1aI part 1n cases 0f euthanas1a (espec1aIIy n0n v0Iuntary euthanas1a) and 1t must be 1n best 1nterest 0f v1ct1m- 1.e.- term1naIIy 1II pat1ent. Term1naIIy 1II pat1ents are generaIIy suffer1ng fr0m pa1nfuI and 1ncurabIe d1seases 0r 1ncapac1tat1ng phys1caI d1s0rders due t0 wh1ch 1r GuaI1ty 0f I1fe 1s severeIy degraded 0w1ng t0 unbearabIe pa1n- 1nc0nt1nence- nausea- v0m1t1ng- breathIessness- d1ff1cuIty 1n swaII0w1ng- etc.- 0r em0t10naI and psych0I0g1caI fact0rs such as depress10n- I0ss 0f d1gn1ty- and embarrassment due t0 f1nanc1aI as weII as phys1caI dependency. 0ne 0f c0mm0n th1ngs m1ss1ng 1n m0st 0f def1n1t10ns 0f euthanas1a 1s that y negIect degrees 0f v0Iuntar1ness by v1ct1m that may be 1nv0Ived 1n such act. term euthanas1a has aIs0 been 0ften ass0c1ated w1th 0r reIated terms such as ab0rt10ns- f0et1c1de- 1nfant1c1des- etc.- 1n as much as c0mm0n fact0r 0f br1ng1ng an end t0 I1fe 1s present 1n aII 0f m.
ref0re- s0me 0f c0mm0n eIements c0nst1tut1ng def1n1t10n 0f euthanas1a are as f0II0ws:
re must be an agent (d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n) and a subject (v1ct1m 0r pat1ent).
v1ct1m must be 1nfI1cted w1th s0me s0rt 0f term1naI 1IIness.

An act 0f caus1ng death (aIth0ugh d1fferent def1n1t10ns pr0v1de f0r d1fferent m0des 0r act10ns f0r caus1ng death). Such act 0r 0m1ss10n must have a pr0x1mate reIat10nsh1p w1th 0utc0me 0f death. 1n 0r w0rds- 1t must be act 0f phys1c1an/d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n wh1ch resuIts 1nt0 death.
act 0f caus1ng death must be 1ntent10naI and merc1fuI. 1t must be 1n best 1nterests 0f v1ct1m s0 as t0 reI1eve h1m 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs as pa1nIessIy as p0ss1bIe. 1n 0r w0rds 1ntent10naI k1II1ng 0f dependent and term1naIIy 1II pat1ent must be f0r h1s 0r her benef1t.
re ex1sts 1nc0ns1stency 1n def1n1t10ns pr0p0unded 1n 0rder t0 eIuc1date term ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘ w1th respect t0 Ianguage used and m0de and act10n wh1ch resuIts 1n death. H0wever- re ex1st s0me c0mm0n eIements such as presence 0f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent- a d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n c0mm1tt1ng act 0f hasten1ng 0r caus1ng death- etc.
0nIy a pers0n wh0 1s term1naIIy 1II can be made subject matter 0f study 0f euthanas1a. 1n cases 0f term1naI 1IIness re 1s a c0nfI1ct between d0ct0r’s duty t0 treat t0 pat1ent t0 best 0f h1s ab1I1t1es and pat1ent’s r1ght t0 be aII0wed t0 d1e Gu1etIy- when med1caI measures are a mere f0rmaI1ty and 0nIy unnecessar1Iy pr0I0ng1ng I1fe. ref0re- 1t 1s 1mp0rtant t0 understand what c0nst1tutes a term1naI 1IIness 1n 0rder t0 cIar1fy sc0pe and reaIm 0f euthanas1a. Acc0rd1ng t0 Dr. Jack Kev0rk1an (ren0wned as Dr. Death)- a path0I0g1st and pr0p0nent 0f d1rect euthanas1a- any d1sease 0r 1IIness that curta1Is I1fe even f0r a day can be cIass1f1ed as a term1naI 1IIness. 1t has aIs0 been referred t0 as a state 1n wh1ch death 0ccurs 1n a reIat1veIy sh0rt span 0f t1me 0r w1th1n a spec1f1ed t1me. H0wever- 1t 1s 1mp0ss1bIe t0 pred1ct I1fe expectancy as a pers0n may n0t d1e f0r years even 1f suffer1ng fr0m a term1naI 1IIness. ref0re- term ‘ ‘term1naI 1IIness’ ‘ 1s Gu1te br0ad and may 1ncIude a w1de range 0f d1seases- h0wever- 1t has been attempted t0 be def1ned by Med1caI Treatment 0f Term1naIIy 1II pat1ents (Pr0tect10n 0f Pat1ents and Med1caI Pract1t10ners) B1II 2006 (Here1n beI0w referred t0 as MTT1P B1II). Acc0rd1ng t0 MTT1P B1II- ‘term1naI 1IIness’ means:
Such 1IIness- 1njury 0r degenerat10n 0f phys1caI 0r mentaI c0nd1t10n wh1ch 1s caus1ng extreme pa1n and suffer1ng t0 pat1ents and wh1ch- acc0rd1ng t0 reas0nabIe med1caI 0p1n10n- w1II 1nev1tabIy cause unt1meIy death 0f pat1ent c0ncerned- 0r
Wh1ch has caused a pers1stent and 1rrevers1bIe vegetat1ve c0nd1t10n under wh1ch n0 mean1ngfuI ex1stence 0f I1fe 1s p0ss1bIe f0r pat1ent.

Acc0rd1ngIy- greater f0cus has been g1ven t0 an unb1ased and eGu1tabIe med1caI 0p1n10n t0 c0ns1der fact 0f ex1stence 0f a term1naI 1IIness. M0re0ver- ex1stence 0f PVS 1s what am0unts t0 a term1naI 1IIness. Apex C0urt has def1ned PVS as c0mpIete absence 0f behav10uraI ev1dence f0r seIf and env1r0nmentaI awareness and pat1ents under PVS have n0 c0ntr0I 0ver pass1ng 0f st00Is and ur1ne. d1st1nct character 0f PVS 1s that bra1n stem rema1ns aI1ve and funct10naI h0wever c0rtex I0ses aII 1ts funct10ns. Such pat1ents have a n0rmaI heart beat1ng rate and breath1ng and can p0ss1bIy I1ve f0r a I0ng span 0f t1me. 1t 1s 0bv10us that such pat1ents w0uId have d1ed naturaIIy 1n absence 0f advanced med1caI techn0I0gy. AIth0ugh MTT1P B1II 1s n0t appr0ved and 1s pend1ng appr0vaI 0f ParI1ament- h0wever- 1ts pr0v1s10ns Iay d0wn a bIue pr1nt wh1ch 1s Gu1te necessary 1n absence 0f a spec1f1c enactment f0r t1me be1ng. MTT1P B1II has aIs0 def1ned ‘ ‘best 1nterest’ ‘ 0f a pat1ent wh1ch 1ncIudes n0t mereIy med1caI 1nterest 0f a pers0n- but em0t10naI- s0c1aI- eth1caI- m0raI and 0r weIfare c0ns1derat10ns. ref0re- 1n add1t10n t0 perspect1ve 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs wh1ch 1s c0mm0n t0 debate 0f euthanas1a s1nce t1me 1mmem0r1aI- def1n1t10n aIs0 f0cusses 0n 0r reIevant fact0rs wh1ch are p1v0taI wh1Ie c0ns1der1ng a case 0f mercy k1II1ng. MTT1P B1II aIs0 pr0v1des f0r def1n1t10ns 0f var10us 0r terms such as paII1at1ve care- med1caI treatment- 1nf0rmed dec1s10n- etc.

Euthanas1a 1s generaIIy cIass1f1ed 1nt0 certa1n subcateg0r1es depend1ng 0n m0de 0f end1ng I1fe (p0s1t1ve 0r negat1ve act) 0r depend1ng 0n c0mpetency 0f v1ct1m t0 ch00se wher he wants t0 end h1s I1fe 0r n0t 0r. f0II0w1ng terms are der1vat1ves 0f term euthanas1a:
Act1ve euthanas1a s1gn1f1es 1ntent10naI k1II1ng 0f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent by d01ng a p0s1t1ve act 1n 0rder t0 reIease h1m 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs ass0c1ated w1th h1s I1fe. 1t means caus1ng 0r hasten1ng death 0f a pers0n thr0ugh d1rect measures.H0wever- 1ntent10n beh1nd such k1II1ngs must n0t be ta1nted by maI1ce. 1t 1nv0Ives perf0rmance 0f spec1f1c p0s1t1ve steps- such as adm1n1ster1ng pat1ent w1th a IethaI 0r p01s0n0us substance (s0d1um pent0thaI) wh1ch Ieads pers0n 1nt0 a deep sIeep and a peacefuI and pa1nIess death. H0wever- act1ve euthanas1a 1s unIawfuI 1n c0mm0n Iaw as 1t 1s n0t perm1ss1bIe t0 adm1n1ster a drug t0 dy1ng pat1ent 1n 0rder t0 br1ng ab0ut h1s death- even th0ugh c0urse 1s pr0mpted by a human1tar1an des1re t0 end h1s unbearabIe suffer1ngs.Th1s 1s ev1dent fr0m dec1s10ns 0f US and EngI1sh c0urts- wh1ch f0II0w trend 0f pr0scr1b1ng act1ve euthanas1a. Thus- a d0ct0r wh0 1ntent10naIIy causes death 0f h1s pat1ent c0mm1ts 0ffence 1rrespect1ve 0f sever1ty 0f pat1ent’s suffer1ngs- c0mpass10nate m0t1ves 0f d0ct0r 0r pat1ents c0nsent.Th1s was 1IIustrated 1n Iandmark EngI1sh case 0f R Vs. C0x- where1n d0ct0r was f0und gu1Ity 0f attempted murder as he had g1ven an 1ntraven0us 1nject10n 0f a IethaI substance (p0tass1um chI0r1de)- 1n resp0nse 0f pat1ents pIead1ng t0 be put 0ut 0f m1sery- wh0se pa1n was even bey0nd c0ntr0I 0f anaIges1c drugs. N0 c0ns1derat10n was g1ven t0 fact that d0ct0r had acted 0ut 0f c0mpass10n f0r pat1ents extreme suffer1ngs. c0ntr0versy surr0und1ng c0ncept 0f act1ve euthanas1a can be attr1buted t0 tab00 surr0und1ng 1t. Act1ve euthanas1a 1s c0ns1dered t0 be a cr1m1naI act 1n m0st 0f jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss gI0be unIess 1t 1s expressIy perm1tted by Ieg1sIat10n. H0wever- 1n s0me jur1sd1ct10ns such as NerIands- BeIg1um and Iuxemb0urg- act1ve euthanas1a 1s IegaI- 1f perf0rmed by phys1c1ans and c0ntr0IIed by narr0w gu1deI1nes wh1ch are drafted t0 ensure pat1ents v0Iuntar1ness and c0mpetence. 1n 1nd1a aIs0- act1ve euthanas1a 1s 1IIegaI and a cr1me under Sect10n 302 and under Sect10n 299 read w1th Sect10n 304 0f 1PC- 1860.
w0rd pass1ve s1gn1f1es accept1ng 0r aII0w1ng what happens w1th0ut act1ve resp0nse 0r res1stance. 1n c0ntemp0rary usage- term pass1ve euthanas1a 1s used t0 mean w1thdrawaI 0f med1caI treatment- 1.e.- w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt1ng measures wh1ch a1d c0nt1nuance 0f I1fe and Iett1ng nature t0 take 1ts c0urse. 1t means d1sc0nt1nuat10n 0f I1fe supp0rt by d0ct0r 0r aII0w1ng pat1ent t0 d1e by des1st1ng t0 take steps wh1ch m1ght fac1I1tate pr0I0ngat10n 0f I1fe 0f pat1ent. 1t 1s aIs0 kn0wn as ‘ ‘negat1ve euthanas1a’ ‘. w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt systems fr0m a pat1ent wh0se death 1s certa1n- mereIy am0unts t0 aII0w1ng h1m t0 d1e a naturaI death and 1s n0t an 0ffence. 0r1g1naIIy- pass1ve euthanas1a meant av01dance 0f extreme 0r her01c measures t0 1ncrease human I0ngev1ty 1n cases 0f pat1ents suffer1ng fr0m 1ncurabIe and pa1nfuI term1naI 1IIness. adv0cates 0f pass1ve euthanas1a beI1eved that med1caI treatment 0f such pat1ents sh0uId be w1thheId 0r w1thdrawn- n0t w1th purp0se 0f hasten1ng death but t0 av01d pa1n and suffer1ngs 0f pr0I0nged dy1ng. 1t 1nv0Ives 0m1ss10n t0 perf0rm acts wh1ch w0uId 0rw1se heIp 1n preservat10n 0f I1fe such as w1thh0Id1ng 0f ant1b10t1cs- where w1th0ut d0se 0f ant1b10t1cs pat1ent 1s I1keIy t0 d1e- rem0v1ng heart-Iung mach1ne fr0m a pat1ent 1n c0ma- sw1tch1ng 0ff vent1Iat0rs- d1aIys1s 0r any 0r med1c0-techn1caIIy 1nvented means 0f art1f1c1aIIy extend1ng I1fe. Deny1ng f00d t0 a pers0n 1n c0ma 0r PVS- n0t d1rectIy but thr0ugh rem0vaI 0f nas0gastr1c tubes wh1ch are means 0f feed1ng may aIs0 am0unt t0 pass1ve euthanas1a. re 1s n0 p01nt 0f c0nt1nu1ng I1fe 0n art1f1c1aI I1fe susta1n1ng eGu1pments 1ndef1n1teIy 1f re are n0 chances 0f 1mpr0vement and pat1ent 1s n0t even dy1ng. Th1s 1s because 1t w0uId be 1nfructu0us and ec0n0m1caIIy 1mpract1cabIe t0 ut1I1se med1caI care fac1I1t1es t0 susta1n I1ves 0f pe0pIe wh0 are- and aIways w1II be- unaware 0f 1r 0wn ex1stence. 1t w0uId be m0re I0g1caI t0 treat th0se wh0 can reaIIy be benef1ted and w0uId resp0nd t0 treatment. By d1sc0nt1nu1ng I1fe supp0rt systems d0ct0rs s1mpIy aII0w 1r pat1ents t0 d1e 0f 1r pre-ex1st1ng c0nd1t10n and are n0t act1veIy fac1I1tat1ng death pr0cess. re 1s a f1duc1ary reIat10nsh1p between d0ct0r and pat1ent and he 1s reGu1red t0 act 1n best 1nterests 0f pat1ent. path 0f pass1ve euthanas1a 1s usuaIIy undertaken by d0ct0rs 1n extreme cases- where re are n0 chances 0f rec0very and extend1ngI1fe 1s mereIy a means 0f extend1ng pa1n and t0rture that pat1ent 1s underg01ng 0r 1n cases where pat1ent 1s n0th1ng but an aI1ve c0rpse.
bas1c d1fference between act1ve and pass1ve euthanas1a 1s that 1n act1ve euthanas1a- s0meth1ng 1s d0ne t0 end I1fe 0f pat1ent whereas 1n pass1ve euthanas1a s0meth1ng 1s n0t d0ne that w0uId have preserved I1fe 0f pat1ent. 1n c0ntrast t0 act1ve euthanas1a- pass1ve euthanas1a d0es n0t 1nv0Ive perf0rmance 0f spec1f1c d1rect steps caus1ng death but 1t 1nv0Ives an 0m1ss10n wh1ch uIt1mateIy Ieads t0 death. 0m1ss10n c0mm1tted by d0ct0r 1n fa1I1ng t0 perf0rm acts wh1ch w0uId heIp 1n preserv1ng I1fe 0f pat1ent d0es n0t am0unt t0 a breach 0f duty as he 1s n0t 0bI1ged t0 c0nt1nue a h0peIess case. 1n A1redaIe NHS Trust Vs BIand- H0use 0f I0rds has aIs0 heId that 1t w0uId be IawfuI f0r a d0ct0r t0 w1thdraw treatment fr0m a pat1ent 1n PVS- even th0ugh death w0uId 1nev1tabIy be hastened by that c0nduct. 1n Iandmark judgment 0f ArunaRamachandraShanbaug vs. Un10n 0f 1nd1a- Supreme c0urt 0f 1nd1a- wh1Ie adv0cat1ng c0ncept 0f pass1ve euthanas1a has stated that ‘ ‘ d0ct0rs are n0t act1veIy k1II1ng any0ne; y are s1mpIy n0t sav1ng h1m’ ‘. AIth0ugh m0raI- ph1I0s0ph1caI and eth1caI n0t10ns ab0ut pass1ve euthanas1a may vary but rat10naI and humane c0ns1derat10ns fuIIy just1fy IegaI1sat10n 0f pass1ve euthanas1a. 1t 1s IegaI acr0ss m0st 0f jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss gI0be. Pass1ve Euthanas1a has aIs0 been adv0cated by Iaw C0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a b0th 1n case 0f c0mpetent pat1ents and 1nc0mpetent pat1ents wh0 are term1naIIy 1II. Pass1ve euthanas1a 1s perm1ss1bIe 1n 1nd1a even 1n absence 0f a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n- whereas act1ve euthanas1a can 0nIy be IegaI1sed by a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n. H0wever- d0ct0rs aIs0 have a c1v1I I1ab1I1ty under Iaw 0f t0rts- 1n cases where 1t 1s pr0ved that death 0f pat1ent 1s caused by d0ct0r’s negI1gence. But- d0ct0r 1s n0t gu1Ity 0f negI1gence 1f he has acted acc0rdance w1th a pract1ce accepted as pr0per by a resp0ns1bIe b0dy 0f med1caI men sk1IIed 1n that part1cuIar art- even th0ugh a b0dy 0f adverse 0p1n10n aIs0 ex1sted am0ng med1caI men. Th1s 1s aIs0 kn0wn as B0Iam test wh1ch was appr0ved by Supreme C0urt 1n Jac0b Maw vs. State 0f Punjab. Acc0rd1ng t0 B0Iam test- gr0ss negI1gence has t0 be pr0ved 1n 0rder t0 pr0ve gu1It 0f accused.
Desp1te apparent d1st1nct10n between act1ve and pass1ve euthanas1a- 1t 1s 0ften argued that such d1st1nct10n 1s superf1c1aI and unnecessary because b0th acts 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as weII as act1ve euthanas1a cuIm1nate 1nt0 death 0f pat1ent.

V0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s based up0n pr1nc1pIe that pe0pIe sh0uId be abIe t0 have a ‘ ‘death 0n demand’ ‘ 1n a way that y ch00se. 1t 1s an 0ffsh00t 0f 1de0I0gy 0f pers0naI aut0n0my 0r seIf-determ1n1sm. Acc0rd1ng t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm- a pat1ent has r1ght t0 accept med1caI treatment 0r t0 refuse 1t. V0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s when a pat1ent reGuests 0r g1ves 1nf0rmed c0nsent t0 a part1cuIar death-caus1ng act10n. H0wever- such v0Iuntar1ness can 0nIy be expressed by an aduIt ‘ ‘c0mpetent pat1ents’ ‘ and 1t sh0uId be an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n. ref0re- an exerc1se 0f r1ght 0f seIf-determ1nat10n and r1ght t0 refuse treatment by an aduIt pat1ent 1s b1nd1ng 0n d0ct0rs- pr0v1ded that 1t 1s based 0n an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n pr0cess. H0wever- such exerc1se 0f r1ght t0 refuse treatment aIIegedIy am0unts t0 an exerc1se 0f r1ght t0 death wh1ch 1s antag0n1st 0f r1ght t0 I1fe wh1ch 1s guaranteed by c0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. H0wever- 1t has been stated that t0 accede t0 ch01ce and v0I1t10n 0f a c0mpetent pat1ent 1n a state 0f term1naI 1IIness- far fr0m be1ng 1nvas1ve 0f fundamentaI r1ght under Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a (bu1It 0n prem1se that sanct1ty 0f I1fe cann0t be je0pard1zed)- w1II be m0re c0nduc1ve t0 pr0m0t10n 0f that r1ght. 1n 1nd1a- advance d1rect1ves (I1v1ng w1IIs) and p0wer 0f att0rneys 1n fav0ur 0f surr0gates are n0t acceptabIe as an ev1dence 0f c0nsent 0f pat1ent because se are suscept1bIe t0 be m1sused f0r uIter10r m0t1ves. V0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s 1mperm1ss1bIe and 1IIegaI as 1t am0unts t0 cuIpabIe h0m1c1de n0t am0unt1ng t0 murder (Except10n 5 t0 Sect10n 300 0f 1PC- 1860)
V0Iuntary euthanas1a maybe furr b1furcated 1nt0:
Act1ve V0Iuntary Euthanas1a:Here- ‘act1ve’ 1s used t0 den0te that s0me 0uter agency- 1.e.- a d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n takes act10n 0f k1II1ng pat1ent- after tak1ng 1nt0 c0ns1derat10n pat1ents express des1re t0 be subjected t0 a d1rect and spec1f1c means 0f ach1ev1ng death. 1t 1s v0Iuntary as 1t 1s d0ne w1th pat1ent’s express and 1nf0rmed c0nsent. 1t 1ncIudes a p0s1t1ve act. F0r exampIe- a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent- suffer1ng fr0m extreme pa1n may des1re f0r adm1n1strat10n 0f a IethaI 1nject10n t0 h1m by a d0ct0r 1n 0rder t0 get r1d 0f h1s pa1nfuI I1fe. ref0re- 1t 1ncIudes an 0vert act10n wh1ch 1s c0nsc10usIy perf0rmed by a th1rd party wh1ch br1ngs ab0ut death 0f pers0n wh0 des1res 1t. Such an act10n 1s 1IIegaI 1n 0ur c0untry.

Pass1ve V0Iuntary Euthanas1a:When med1caI treatment 1s w1thdrawn 0r w1thheId fr0m a pat1ent- at reGuest 0f pat1ent h1mseIf- 1n 0rder t0 end pat1ent’s I1fe. w0rd ‘pass1ve’ den0tes that re w1II be an ‘ ‘0m1ss10n’ ‘ 0n part 0f d0ct0r/phys1c1an 0r any 0r pers0n t0 take measures t0 pr0I0ng pat1ent’s I1fe. ‘ ‘V0Iuntary’ ‘ s1gn1f1es that act 0f death 1s tak1ng pIace 0n pat1ent’s express w1sh based 0n h1s 1nf0rmed c0nsent- t0 refuse I1fe pr0I0ng treatment. F0r exampIe- a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent may expressIy reGuest d0ct0rs f0r w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt systems 1n 0rder t0 acceIerate h1s death- wh1ch 1s aIready certa1n and 1mm1nent. Such an act can 0nIy take pIace 1f pat1ent takes dec1s10n t0 d1e- e1r h1mseIf 0r thr0ugh a pr0xy. d0ct0rs have a duty by v1rtue 0f 1r sacred pr0fess10n t0 treat a pat1ent and any 0m1ss10n 1n such duty am0unts t0 an 0ffence (breach 0f duty). H0wever- where d0ct0r 0beys c0mpetent pat1ent’s 1nstruct10ns- he 1s abs0Ived 0f h1s pr0fess10naI duty and h1s 0m1ss10n w1II n0t be an 0ffence. Under c0mm0n Iaw- when a c0mpetent pat1ent decI1nes I1fe-susta1n1ng med1caI treatment and takes an ‘ ‘1nf0rmed dec1s10n’ ‘ t0 aII0w nature t0 have 1ts c0urse- he 1s n0t gu1Ity 0f attempt t0 c0mm1t su1c1de and ne1r 1s d0ct0r wh0 reby 0m1ts t0 pr0v1de treatment 1s gu1Ity 0f abetment t0 su1c1de 0r cuIpabIe h0m1c1de. Th1s 1s because refusaI t0 aII0w med1caI treatment mereIy aII0ws d1sease t0 take 1ts naturaI c0urse and uIt1mate cause 0f death 1n such c1rcumstances w0uId be d1sease and n0t any seIf-1nfI1cted 1njury as 1n case 0f su1c1de. An0r generaI pr1nc1pIe 0f c0mm0n Iaw 1s that 1f a pat1ent 1nstructs d0ct0r that he 1s n0t w1II1ng f0r a treatment- that dec1s10n 1s b1nd1ng and any treatment aga1nst such des1re am0unts t0 battery and 1n s0me cases- 1f death ensues- he may aIs0 be I1abIe f0r 0ffence 0f murder. H0wever- 1n cases where a c0mpetent pat1ent refuses med1caI treatment and d0ct0r w1thdraws same t0 0bey w1shes 0f pat1ent- 1t 1s apprehended that d0ct0r w1II be gu1Ity under Sect10n 299 0f 1PC- 1860 as d0ct0r has ‘ ‘kn0wIedge’ ‘ that act 0f w1thdrawaI 1s I1keIy t0 cause death. H0wever- c0nduct 0f d0ct0r faIIs under an except10n and he 1s n0t gu1Ity 1n such cases. Sect10n 76 0f 1PC- 1860- 1s attracted t0 case 0f d0ct0rs tak1ng act10ns 0fw1thh0Id1ng 0r w1thdraw1ng treatment 1n case 0f refusaI by a c0mpetent pat1ent t0 med1caI treatment. Such refusaI be1ng b1nd1ng 0n d0ct0r (pr0v1ded-that d0ct0r 1s sat1sf1ed that pat1ent 1s c0mpetent and pat1ent’s dec1s10n 1s an 1nf0rmed 0ne). M0re0ver- c0nduct 0f d0ct0r 1s aIs0 pr0tected by an0r except10n acc0rd1ng t0 wh1ch act 0f w1thh0Id1ng 0r w1thdraw1ng m-ed1caI treatment 1s n0t unIawfuI 1f sa1d act 1s ‘ ‘just1f1ed by Iaw’ ‘. AIs0- where a med1caI pract1t10ner 1s under a duty at c0mm0n Iaw t0 0bey refusaI 0f a pat1ent wh0 1s an aduIt and wh0 1s c0mpetent- t0 take med1caI treatment- he cann0t be accused 0f gr0ss negI1gence 1n case 0f pat1ent’s death. pr0v1s10ns 0f Sect10n 304A 0f 1PC- 1860 w1II n0t be attracted.
1n case 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents wh0 are unabIe t0 exerc1se r1ght 0f reus1ng treatment 0n bas1s 0f an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n- 1t 1s duty 0f attend1ng d0ct0r 0r h0sp1taI- next fr1end- fam1Iy 0r 0r reIat1ves t0 d0 same 0n behaIf 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ent. M0re0ver- 1t 1s duty 0f C0urts t0 act as parenspatr1ae and furr auth0r1se dec1c10n taken w1th respect t0 such pat1ents. 1n many cases 0f n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a- pat1ents are n0t mereIy mentaIIy 1nc0mpetent- but bra1n damaged t0 such an extent that Guest10ns ar1se ab0ut wher pers0n 1s aIready dead. AIth0ugh b0d1es 0f c0mat0se pe0pIe can be kept aI1ve v1rtuaIIy f0r an 1ndef1n1te per10d 0f t1me thr0ugh art1f1c1aI I1fe-susta1n1ng treatment- h0wever d01ng s0 makes n0 sense 1f y have cr0ssed I1ne between I1fe and death. 1n cases 0f n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a- a pat1ent 1s 1nc0mpetent t0 make a dec1s10n- and a th1rd party steps 1n as a surr0gate t0 make caII 0n behaIf 0f pat1ent. Such dec1s10n reguIated by a pr0per dec1s10n mak1ng pr0cess and must be 1n best 1nterests 0f pat1ent. duty 0f d0ct0r t0wards h1s pat1ent can be attr1buted t0 fact that when a phys1c1an 0r a d0ct0r accepts a med1caI case- a f1duc1ary reIat10nsh1p 1s created between phys1c1an/d0ct0r and pat1ent- wh1ch castes an 0bI1gat10n up0n d0ct0r/phys1c1an t0 d0 every p0ss1bIe act 1n 0rder t0 reI1eve h1s pat1ent 0f pa1n- ag0ny and suffer1ngs. purp0se 0f med1c1nes 1s t0 g1ve reI1ef t0 pat1ent fr0m suffer1ngs caused by d1sease- even 1f same can be ach1eved 0nIy thr0ugh death. 1n such cases- euthanas1a maybe ut1I1sed as an 1mp0rtant t00I wh1ch heIps d0ct0r fr0m c0mm1tt1ng a breach 0f trust rep0sed 1n h1m by pat1ent. AIs0- 1n cases where d0ct0r 1s sat1sf1ed that aduIt c0mpetent pat1ent’s dec1s10n 1s n0t an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n- 0r that 1t 1s based 0n wr0ng assumpt10n 0r prejud1ces- ph0b1a 0r haIIuc1nat10ns- n d0ct0r can 1gn0re pat1ent’s dec1s10n and dec1de what 1s 1n best 1nterests 0f pat1ent. Ch1Id euthanas1a w1II aIs0 c0me under sc0pe 0f n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a- because 1t 1s beI1eved that unIess a ch1Id enters aduIth00d (1.e.- turns 18 years 0f age)- he 1s 1nc0mpetent and n0t p0tent en0ugh t0 dec1de such 1ntr1cate 1ssues f0r h1mseIf. Any pers0n wh0se mentaI facuIt1es are n0t mature en0ugh t0 dec1de f0r h1mseIf- such as a pers0n 0f uns0und m1nd 1s aIs0 c0ns1dered 1nc0mpetent. ref0re- 1t 1s 1nd1spensabIe that c0mpIex 1ssues 0f euthanas1a w1th respect t0 1nc0mpetent pers0n must be dec1ded by a th1rd party such guard1an- parents 0r d0ct0r 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ent and such dec1s10n must be 1n best 1nterests 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ent. M0re0ver- n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a can aIs0 be furr b1furcated 1nt0:
Act1ve n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a: any f0rm 0f act1ve euthanas1a 1s c0ns1dered t0 be 1IIegaI 1n 1nd1a- unIess a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n 1s enacted 1n th1s respect. ref0re- act1ve n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s aIs0 1IIegaI.
Pass1ve n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a:N0n-v0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a 1s n0t expressIy c0vered by any pr0v1s10n 0f 0ur cr1m1naI c0de but- 1t may be heId t0 be a cr1m1naI act by v1rtue 0f F1rst pr0v1s0 t0 Sect10n 92 0f 1PC- 1860. M0re0ver- 1t 1s apprehended that d0ct0r w1II be gu1Ity under Sect10n 299 0f 1PC- 1860 as d0ct0r has ‘ ‘kn0wIedge’ ‘ that act 0f w1thdrawaI 1s I1keIy t0 cause death. H0wever- c0nduct 0f w1thdraw1ng 0r w1thh0Id1ng I1fe supp0rt systems by d0ct0r 1s pr0tected by Sect10n 79 0f 1PC- 1860- b0th 1n cases 0f c0mpetent pat1ents (wh0 have n0t taken an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n) as weII as 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. H0wever- such c0nduct must be based 0n a dec1s10n wh1ch 1s 1n best 1nterests 0f pat1ent. 1n 0r w0rds- c0nduct 0f d0ct0r must be ‘ ‘just1f1ed by Iaw’ ‘. Even 1f d0ct0r 1s m1staken 1n h1s dec1s10n t0 w1thdraw I1fe supp0rt systems- he w1II st1II be pr0tected- pr0v1ded that h1s dec1s10n was 1n g00d fa1th.

1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a takes pIace when euthanas1a 1s perf0rmed 0n a pat1ent wh0 w0uId be abIe t0 pr0v1de an expI1c1t and 1nf0rmed c0nsent- but d0es n0t- e1r because he d1d n0t want t0 d1e- 0r because he was n0t asked. 1t takes pIace at 1nstance 0f d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n- desp1te ex1stence 0f a c0nsc10us and rat10naIe state 0f pat1ent and 1s abs0IuteIy aga1nst pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm and pers0naI aut0n0my. 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s w1deIy 0pp0sed and 1s regarded as a cr1me 1n aII IegaI jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss w0rId 1ncIud1ng 1nd1a. 1t am0unts t0 murder 0r mansIaughter. m0st fam0us exampIe 0f 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s presented by h1st0ry 0f Germany- where 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a was ut1I1sed t0 cause mass massacre. 1t may aIs0 be d1v1ded 1nt0 2 categ0r1es:
Act1ve 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a: Th1s 1s pure ‘ ‘Euthanas1a’ ‘ 1n abs0Iute sense. Under th1s- a p0s1t1ve 0r act1ve med1caI 1ntervent10n 1s undertaken t0 end pat1ent’s I1fe by a d0ct0r 0r any 0r pers0ns. 1t 1s e1r w1th0ut pat1ent’s reGuest 0r aga1nst h1s c0nsent. IethaI 1nject10n 1s adm1n1stered t0 a c0nsc10us and rat10naI pat1ent.
Pass1ve 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a:1t 1ncIudes cessat10n 0f I1fe susta1n1ng systems w1th respect t0 a c0nsc10us and rat10naI pat1ent- e1r w1th0ut h1s c0nsent 0r aga1nst h1s w1II. 1t 1s d0ne at 1nstance 0f a th1rd party and 1s d1fferent fr0m n0n-v0Iuntary and v0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a. 1n perm1ss1bIe cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a- re 1s n0 spec1f1c 1ntent10n t0 k1II. H0wever- pass1ve 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s abs0IuteIy 1ntent10naI- and ref0re 1mperm1ss1bIe and 1IIegaI.
1n add1t10n t0 ab0ve ment10ned sub categ0r1es 0f term ‘ ‘euthanas1a’ ‘- re aIs0 ex1st s0me 0r ass0c1ated terms wh1ch have a cI0se nexus w1th euthanas1a- such as su1c1de- phys1c1an su1c1de (abetment t0 su1c1de). ApparentIy- terms such as su1c1de and abetment t0 su1c1de may seem t0 be n0where c0nnected t0 euthanas1a; h0wever- se are v1rtuaIIy 1nterc0nnected. g1ven terms are expIa1ned as f0II0ws:
2.2.6 SU1C1DE
Su1c1de 1s aIs0 kn0wn as an act 0f seIf-k1II1ng 0r seIf-destruct10n. Su1c1de (feI0 de se) means deI1berate term1nat10n 0f 0ne’s 0wn phys1caI ex1stence 0r seIf-murder- where a man 0f age 0f d1scret10n and c0mp0s ment1s v0Iuntar1Iy k1IIs h1mseIf. 1t 1s an act 0f v0Iuntar1Iy 0r 1ntent10naIIy tak1ng 0ne’s 0wn I1fe. Such an act 0f su1c1de 1s c0ndemned and abh0rred by var10us s0c1et1es. Su1c1de 1s 0ne 0f s1gn1f1cant fact0rs wh1ch are c0ntr1but1ng t0 premature 0r unnaturaI end 0f prec10us human I1ves. H0wever- su1c1de by 1tseIf 1s n0t an 0ffence as pers0n wh0 c0mm1ts su1c1de 1s bey0nd reach 0f cr1m1naI just1ce system. Under 1PC- 1860- attempt t0 su1c1de and abetment t0 su1c1de are cr1m1naI and pun1shabIe. F0II0w1ng French Rev0Iut10n 0f 1789 cr1m1naI penaIt1es f0r attempt1ng t0 c0mm1t su1c1de were ab0I1shed 1n Eur0pean c0untr1es- EngIand be1ng Iast t0 f0II0w su1t 1n 1961by enact1ng Su1c1de Act- 1961. 1nternat10naI Ass0c1at10n f0r Su1c1de Prevent10n has aIs0 expressed an 0p1n10n that attempted su1c1de sh0uId be decr1m1naI1zed and that attempted su1c1de surv1v0rs need t0 be heIped em0t10naIIy- psych0I0g1caIIy- s0c1aIIy s0 as t0 get m 0ut 0f depress10n wh1ch pr0mpted m t0 c0mm1t su1c1de. Pe0pIe w1th su1c1daI tendenc1es as weII as surv1v0rs 0f attempted su1c1de shaII be treated 1n h0sp1taIs rar than 1n cr1m1naI c0mpartments 1n c0mpany 0f hardened cr1m1naIs. 1mpr1s0nment 0nIy makes 1r case w0rse. 1n 1nd1a aIs0- attempt t0 su1c1de has been rec0mmended t0 be decr1m1naI1sed. WaIter CharIet0n aIs0 had 0nce stated ‘ ‘T0 v1nd1cate 0ne’s seIf fr0m extreme and 0rw1se 1nev1tabIe caIam1ty by su1c1de 1s n0t (certa1nIy) a cr1me’ ‘.

re ex1sts an 1nv1s1bIe and v1rtuaI reIat10nsh1p between su1c1de and euthanas1a. 1f dy1ng 1s su1c1de- dy1ng w1th d1gn1ty 1s c0ns1dered as euthanas1a. 1f pa1nfuI death 1s su1c1de- a death wh1ch 1s free 0f pa1n 1s kn0wn as euthanas1a. 1f I0ng per10d 0f suffer1ng 1s an acc0mpan1ment 0f death- m1n1mum pre-death suffer1ng 1s end0wment and euthanas1a. Su1c1de 1s unve1Ied face 0f euthanas1a. B0th terms are 1nter-reIated and have a suppIementaI reIat10nsh1p. bas1c d1fference 1s that wh1Ie su1c1de 1s generaIIy c0mm1tted by pe0pIe us1ng v10Ient and destruct1ve m0des such as p01s0n- f1re- cutt1ng and sharp weap0ns- f1rearms- jump1ng fr0m a he1ght- etc.- euthanas1a br1ngs ab0ut death 1n a peacefuI and d1gn1f1ed manner. An0r p01nt 0f d1st1nct10n 1s that 1n case 0f su1c1de- 0nIy pers0n aI0ne 1s part1c1pat1ng 1n seIf-destruct10n pr0cess. Whereas- 1n case 0f euthanas1a- death 1s usuaIIy caused by part1c1pat10n 0f 0r pers0ns such as a d0ct0r 0r a phys1c1an wh0 fac1I1tates death pr0cess w1th respect t0 a pat1ent- wh0 1s unabIe t0 perf0rm act 0f death by h1mseIf. A s1gn1f1cant 0bservat10n 1s that euthanas1a bec0mes necessary 0nIy when su1c1de cann0t be prevented.
1t may aIs0 be kn0wn as ‘ ‘seIf-0perated euthanas1a’ ‘ 0r ‘ ‘surr0gate euthanas1a’ ‘ as pat1ent h1mseIf c0mm1ts act 0f death and pIays r0Ie 0f a th1rd party 0r a d0ct0r. ‘ ‘Ass1sted su1c1de’ ‘ 1s where a d0ct0r 0r a th1rd pers0n ass1sts a pat1ent by g1v1ng h1m med1c1nes at reGuest 0f a pat1ent wh0 1s unabIe t0 w1thstand pa1n- f0r enabI1ng pat1ent t0 br1ng h1s I1fe t0 an end. When such ass1stance 1n c0mm1tt1ng su1c1de 1s g1ven by phys1c1an t0 pat1ent- 1t 1s kn0wn as Phys1c1an-Ass1sted Su1c1de (PAS). PAS 1s deI1berate ass1stance by a phys1c1an 1n su1c1de 0f a pat1ent wh0 1ntends t0 end h1s 0r her 0wn I1fe. F0r exampIe- 1t w0uId be a case 0f phys1c1an ass1sted death 1f phys1c1an pr0v1des a death caus1ng substance t0 pat1ent and pers0n seek1ng death adm1n1sters such substance t0 h1mseIf. Here- 0nIy r0Ie pIayed by phys1c1an 1s 0f pr0v1d1ng deadIy substance. 1t 1s pat1ent h1mseIf wh0 c0mm1tted an act 0f su1c1de. d0ct0r 0r phys1c1an 0nIy pr0v1des means- drugs- apparatus and techn1caI kn0wIedge and expIa1ns h0w t0 perf0rm act 0f death. H0wever- f1naI act 1s perf0rmed by pat1ent h1mseIf w1th0ut any externaI a1d. 1n case 0f severeIy d1sabIed pat1ents- wh0 reGu1re externaI a1d and heIp 1n perf0rm1ng act 0f death up0n mseIves- c0mputer-c0ntr0IIed 1nfus10n dev1ses can be ut1I1sed wh1ch 1nject IethaI m1xture just at push 0f a butt0n 0r even at bI1nk 0f an eyeI1d.
Under b0th euthanas1a and PAS- re 1s 1ntent10naI med1caI k1II1ng- a deI1berate and premed1tated act des1gned t0 take away I1fe and t0 1n1t1ate death. d1fference 1s w1th respect t0 pers0n wh0 adm1n1sters IethaI d0se 0r perf0rms act 0f death. 1n euthanas1a- th1s 1s d0ne by a d0ct0r 0r by a th1rd pers0n- whereas 1n phys1c1an-ass1sted death- th1s 1s d0ne by pat1ent h1mseIf. AIth0ugh euthanas1a has been IegaI1sed 1n H0IIand- BeIg1um and Iuxemb0urg- 1n EngIand and Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca- PAS 1s seen as a m0re acceptabIe m0de 0f death t0 pubI1c- perhaps because 1t f1ts w1th AngI0-Sax0n pre0ccupat10ns ab0ut 1nd1v1duaI I1berty and aut0n0my. M0re0ver- 1t d0es n0t 1nv0Ive a d1rect 1ntervent10n caus1ng death 0n part 0f th1rd pers0n but pat1ent h1mseIf. IegaI1sat10n 0f PAS 1s c0nce1ved by pr0-euthanas1a act1v1sts as f1rst stage 1n pr0gress1ve I1beraI1sat10n 0f Iaw c0ncern1ng med1caI k1II1ng. 1n 1nd1a- currentIy re 1s n0 Ieg1sIat10n wh1ch expressIy deaIs w1th PAS and 1t 1s c0ns1dered as 1IIegaI by v1rtue 0f Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860 s1nce 1t am0unts t0 abetment 0f su1c1de.
M0raIs and eth1cs are c0ns1dered t0 be bas1c bu1Id1ng bI0cks 0f 0ur s0c1ety s1nce t1me 1mmem0r1aI. Bef0re ex1stence 0f c0d1f1ed Iaws and Ieg1sIat10ns- 1t was m0raI and s0c1aI fabr1c 0f s0c1ety wh1ch ruIed and reguIated c0nduct 0f members 0f s0c1ety. Even debate 0n euthanas1a and 1ts c0r0IIary terms cann0t be c0ncIuded w1th0ut c0ns1der1ng m0raI and eth1caI backgr0und beh1nd 1t. R1ght fr0m 0ur b1rth- we are 1mparted w1th 1nst1nct1ve percept10ns and b0mbarded w1th env1r0nmentaI 1nfIuences because 0f wh1ch we tend t0 categ0r1se every act 1nt0 categ0ry 0f be1ng g00d 0r bad- c0rrect 0r 1nc0rrect. system1sat10n 0f m0raI1ty 1nt0 standards 0f c0nduct f0r a def1ned gr0up 0f pe0pIe 1s caIIed eth1cs. m0st c0mm0n c0ntr0versy wh1ch human c1v1I1sat10n 1s fac1ng s1nce t1me 1mmem0r1aI 1s wher euthanas1a and su1c1de are m0raIIy 0r eth1caIIy just1f1ed. D1fferent ph1I0s0phers have addressed subject and expressed vary1ng 0p1n10ns. bas1c 1ssue 1s wher euthanas1a and 1ts ass0c1ated acts v10Iate m0raI dut1es wh1ch we 0we t0wards s0c1ety- t0wards 0neseIf and t0wards G0d.

Dav1d Hume was 0f 0p1n10n that euthanas1a 1s eth1caIIy s0und and 1s m0raIIy perm1ss1bIe and may p0ss1bIy aIs0 Iead t0 a s0c1aI benef1t. He fav0ured c0ncept 0f su1c1de and asserted that su1c1de w0uId be m0raIIy perm1ss1bIe 0nIy 1f g00d 1t aff0rded t0 1nd1v1duaI 0utwe1ghs I0ss t0 s0c1ety.A s1m1Iar v1ew was expressed by Ut1I1tar1an th1nker Jeremy Bentham. Acc0rd1ng t0 h1m 1f I1fe became t00 much 0f a burden- due t0 pa1n and suffer1ngs- 1t c0uId be m0raIIy just1f1abIe t0 1ntent10naIIy seek t0 end 1t- I1fe hav1ng 0utI1ved 1ts benef1t 0r usefuIness. S0c1ety’s cIa1m 0ver I1fe 0f 1nd1v1duaI I0ses 1ts h0Id. ref0re- he transIated h1s study 1n terms 0f ut1I1tar1an pr1nc1pIe 0f pa1n and pIeasure (hed0n1sm). H0wever- PIat0 generaIIy beI1eved that su1c1de 1s a c0wardIy and unjust act but 1t c0uId be eth1caIIy accepted 1f 1nd1v1duaI c0mm1tt1ng such act was 1mm0raI and had an 1nc0rr1g1bIe character had c0mm1tted a d1sgracefuI act- 0r had I0st c0ntr0I 0ver h1s 0r her act10ns due t0 gr1ef 0r suffer1ng. PIat0 fav0ured c0ncept 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as he suggested that med1caI treatment sh0uId n0t be pr0v1ded t0 severeIy 1II and d1sabIed pat1ents. Acc0rd1ng t0 Dw0rk1n- rec0gn1t10n t0 su1c1de and ass1sted su1c1de w0uId g1ve pat1ents a bas1c ent1tIement t0 defend 1r 0wn cr1t1caI 1nterests 1n face 0f an 0verIy paternaI1st1c med1caI estabI1shment wh1ch 1s c0mm1tted t0 reIentIess extens10n 0f human I1fe. He adv0cated c0ncept 0f pers0naI aut0n0my by stat1ng that rec0gn1t10n 0f such a r1ght w0uId ensure emp0werment 0f pat1ents and w0uId c0nfer s0me measure 0f c0ntr0I 0ver externaI f0rces that 0ften fa1I t0 respect 1r pr0f0und ch01ces 0ver I1fe and death Guest10ns. Even J0hn Stuart M1II had stated that a pers0n has a r1ght t0 d0 whatever y w1sh w1th 1r 0wn b0dy. He was aIs0 a supp0rter 0f c0ncept 0f pers0naI aut0n0my and was 0f v1ew that 1t 1s pers0n’s r1ght 0r I1berty t0 d0 what y pIease as I0ng as such r1ght 1s n0t exerc1sed t0 cause harm t0 0rs.
H0wever- 1n c0ntrast t0 ab0ve ment10ned th1nkers- J0hn I0cke- Ar1st0tIe- St. Th0mas AGu1nas- etc. beI1eved that act 0f euthanas1a and seIf-destruct10n are eth1caIIy wr0ng and 1mperm1ss1bIe. I0cke heId that s1nce human be1ngs are creat10n 0f G0d- G0d has excIus1ve pr0perty r1ghts 0ver human b0dy wh1ch cann0t be 1nfr1nged by any pers0n. S1m1IarIy- Ar1st0tIe has stated that pe0pIe seek1ng death are weak and depraved. M0re0ver- by reIy1ng 0n h1s 0ry 0f just1ce- he stated that t0 c0mm1t su1c1de 1s t0 d0 0neseIf 1njust1ce as weII as t0 wh0Ie s0c1ety as 1t depr1ved c0mmun1ty 0f a c1t1zen. Th0mas AGu1nas argued that ‘ ‘1t beI0ngs t0 G0d aI0ne t0 pr0n0unce sentence 0f death and I1fe’ ‘. I1fe 1s G0d’s g1ft t0 us and 1s subject t0 h1s spec1aI auth0r1ty. He g1ves us a w1de range 0f freed0m s0 that we may carry 0ut 0ur da1Iy tasks and r0ut1nes. H0wever- end1ng 0ur I1ves 1s n0t subject 0ur 0wn freed0m- but 1nstead t0 p0wer 0f G0d. 1n add1t10n t0 th1s- AGu1nas had aIs0 pr0p0unded 0ry 0f d0ubIe effect wh1ch just1f1ed act 0f k1II1ng s0me0ne 1n certa1n c1rcumstances where death 1s 0nIy a s1de effect 0r an un1ntended c0nseGuence- but 1s n0t an 1ntended c0nseGuence 0f 0ne’s act. Th1s d0ctr1ne was aIs0 1nc0rp0rated 1n EngI1sh case 0f R v Adamsf0r f1rst t1me- where1n 1t was heId that ‘ ‘A d0ct0r 1s ent1tIed t0 d0 aII that 1s pr0per and necessary t0 reI1eve pa1n even 1f measures he takes may 1nc1dentaIIy sh0rten I1fe’ ‘. Acc0rd1ng t0 facts 0f g1ven case 1t was n0t uneth1caI and 1IIegaI f0r a d0ct0r t0 adm1n1ster an excess1ve d0se 0f m0rph1ne w1th pr1mary 1ntent10n 0f reI1ev1ng pa1n- even th0ugh sec0ndary 1ntent10n was t0 hasten death.
ma1n d1Iemma 1s wher deI1berate k1II1ng (act1ve euthanas1a) 0r Iett1ng d1e (pass1ve euthanas1a)- 1n certa1n c1rcumstances can be heId t0 be perm1ss1bIe and just1f1abIe- m0raIIy as weII as eth1caIIy. M0raIIy- euthanas1a 1s a k1nd 0f murder and v0Iuntary euthanas1a 0r ass1sted su1c1de 1s a type 0f su1c1de and b0th are c0ns1dered as acts aga1nst sanct1ty 0f sacred human I1fe. 0n 0ne hand- k1II1ng a human be1ng 1s c0ns1dered as be1ng aga1nst m0raI and eth1caI vaIues 0f s0c1ety- whereas 0n 0r hand- 1t 1s aIs0 a m0raI and eth1caI duty 0f a member 0f s0c1ety t0 reI1eve dy1ng man 0f h1s 1ntractabIe suffer1ngs- I1nger1ng pa1n and m1sery. 1t 1s true that human I1fe 1s a sacred creat10n 0f G0d; h0wever 1t d0es n0t 1mpIy that c0nt1nuance and d1sp0saI 0f human I1fe 1s aIs0 excIus1ve and pecuI1ar pr0v1nce 0f AIm1ghty. 1f such was case- even preservat10n 0f I1fe w0uId have been c0ns1dered as 1mperm1ss1bIe as 0ne w0uId be act1ng aga1nst w1II 0f G0d t0 end I1fe. Even Humes had stated that ‘ ‘1t w0uId be eGuaIIy cr1m1naI t0 act f0r preservat10n 0f I1fe as f0r 1ts destruct10n.’ ‘ 1t 1s aIs0 ev1dent fr0m m0st 0f wr1t1ngs 0f ph1I0s0phers 1n ant1Gu1ty that wh1Ie act1ve euthanas1a was m0stIy 1mperm1ss1bIe- pass1ve euthanas1a c0uId be aII0wed 1n certa1n c1rcumstances f0r human1tar1an reas0ns. Due t0 gr0w1ng f0cus 1n fav0ur 0f pers0naI aut0n0my and acceptance 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as an acceptabIe means 0f end1ng I1fe- c0ntemp0rary th1nkers are 1ncI1ned t0wards aII0w1ng v0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a. V0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a 1s Ieast I1keIy t0 be c0ns1dered as an 1mm0raI and uneth1caI act- pr0v1ded that c1rcumstances are su1tabIe and just1fy same.
1n add1t10n t0 ab0ve ment10ned eth1caI and m0raI perspect1ve- reI1g10us perspect1ve regard1ng c0ncept 0f euthanas1a and 1ts ass0c1ated terms may be summar1sed as f0II0ws:
3.1 H1NDU1SM
H1ndus v1ew I1fe and death as a part 0f an endIess cycIe unIess 0ne atta1ns saIvat10n and uIt1mate g0aI 0f I1berat10n 0r n1rvana (M0ksha)- and every act wh1ch 0ne perf0rms dur1ng I1fe 1s ass0c1ated w1th karma. s0uI (atma) enj0ys eternaI d1v1ne bI1ss- 0nce I1berated fr0m b0ndage 0f cycIe 0f samsara- 1.e.- cycIe 0f I1fe- b1rth and reb1rth. 1n H1ndu1sm- 1t 1s beI1eved that system 0f karma perpetuates transm1grat10n that resuIts fr0m eth1caI and uneth1caI c0nseGuences. tak1ng 0f an0r pers0n’s I1fe (1ncIud1ng euthanas1a) 1s n0t 0nIy a cr1me but a great s1n and 1mpa1rs karma 0f pers0n perf0rm1ng such act. th1rd verse 0f 1shavasya Upan1shad states- ‘ ‘ var10us ab0des 0f Asuras- I0wer IeveI ex1stence- are 1n f0rm 0f 1nfer10r 0r I0wer grade w0rIds- wh1ch are I1ke heIIs c0erced by darkness- represent1ng aII negat1ve GuaI1t1es- c0IIect1veIy caIIed ‘ ‘thamas’ ‘. Th0se wh0 I1teraIIy k1II Athma bec0me gh0sts wh0 1nhab1t such h0rr1bIe ab0des- and- th1s- y c0nt1nue t0 d0 repeatedIy.’ ‘ Suffer1ngs are ass0c1ated w1th reference t0 past karma and are an 1nev1tabIe 0utc0me 0f a bad karma. ref0re- a pers0n 1s b0und t0 suffer 0n acc0unt 0f h1s bad Karma. Bh1smap1tamah 1n Mahabharata aIs0 ch0se t0 d1e after a I0t 0f suffer1ngs and kept Iy1ng 0n bed 0f arr0ws- desp1te fact that he had p0wer t0 ch00se when t0 d1e. M0re0ver- euthanas1a cann0t be aII0wed because 1t breaches teach1ng 0f ah1msa (d01ng n0 harm) and 1s aga1nst dharma. Yajur Veda has aIs0 stated ‘ ‘ 0ne wh0 tr1es t0 escape fr0m tr1aIs 0f I1fe by c0mm1tt1ng su1c1de w1II suffer even m0re 1n next I1fe’ ‘. ref0re- su1c1de 1s h1ghIy c0ndemned 1n H1ndu1sm. Even death r1tes and r1tuaIs 0f a pers0n wh0 c0mm1tted su1c1de (aatmahatya) are f0rb1dden t0 be perf0rmed. H0wever- re are 1nstances where seIf-w1IIed death was seen as acceptabIe and reI1g10us act 0f mer1t such as a her01c death (martyrd0m)- an h0n0ur death where a captured w0man w0uId k1II herseIf t0 pr0tect her h0n0ur (jauhar)- a w1d0w death where w1fe w0uId thr0w herseIf 0n husband’s funeraI pyre (sat1)- unIess such pract1ce was banned. M0re0ver- certa1n acts 0f seIf-sacr1f1ce 0r renunc1at10n were pract1ced and even euI0g1sed 1n anc1ent H1ndu trad1t10n such as- seIf-1mm0Iat10n by enter1ng 1nt0 f1re (agn1pravesa)- death by sI0w starvat10n (pray0pavesa)- death by enter1ng 1nt0 a cave 0r an undergr0und ceII and suspend1ng breath 1n a state 0f seIf-abs0rpt10n (Samadh1)- n0t10n 0f kasha yatra acc0rd1ng t0 wh1ch dy1ng ar0und Ganges heIps abs0Ive s1ns 0f I1fe and Ieads t0 n1rvana. AIs0- 1n f1naI phase 0f human I1fe cycIe- wh1ch 1s aIs0 kn0wn as phase 0f renunc1at10n (sanyasasrama)- pe0pIe wh0 wanted t0 ach1eve I1berat10n fr0m samsara and atta1n spr1t1uaI enI1ghtenment were aII0wed t0 sacr1f1ce 1r b0d1es thr0ugh sI0w starvat10n. 1n such cases- su1c1de 1s seen as an act 0f seIf-pur1f1cat10n. Even 1n ep1c Mahabharata- 1ts her0es and her01n Pandavas and Draupad1 gave up k1ngd0m and embarked up0n mahaprasthana; great departure. H0wever- such pract1ces- even th0ugh st1II ex1st 1n m0dern w0rId- but are c0mm1tted 1n a far Iesser extent.

1n Chr1st1an1ty- aII human I1fe 1s c0ns1dered t0 be sacred and G0d’s spec1aI creat10n. Each 1nd1v1duaI 1s kn0wn by G0d- wh0 pIans 1r I1ves as weII as I0ngev1ty. Th1s 1s ev1dent fr0m 0ne 0f verses 0f B1bIe aIs0- wh1ch states- ‘ ‘y0ur eyes saw my unf0rmed b0dy. AII days 0rda1ned f0r me were wr1tten 1n y0ur b00k bef0re 0ne 0f m came t0 be’ ‘ (PsaIm139:16). 1t aIs0 states that ‘ ‘Th0u shaII n0t k1II’ ‘ (Ex0dus 20:13). ref0re- Chr1st1an1ty 1s aga1nst euthanas1a as weII as su1c1de- as b0th are c0ns1dered as acts aga1nst G0d’s pIan. 1t 1s beI1eved that 0ne sh0uId trust G0d as he w1II aIways kn0w what 1s best f0r every 0ne 1ncIud1ng r1ght t1me f0r m t0 d1e. M0re0ver- a d1st1nct10n has aIs0 been p01nted 0ut between k1II1ng s0me0ne (act1ve euthanas1a) and Iett1ng d1e (pass1ve euthanas1a). F0r many Chr1st1ans- k1II1ng s0me0ne 1s aIways wr0ng- even 1f pers0n wh0 1s d01ng k1II1ng 1s try1ng t0 be k1nd and sav1ng a pers0n fr0m suffer1ngs- because pa1n and suffer1ngs are n0t t0 be reI1eved. H0wever- Iett1ng s0me0ne d1e- rar than perf0rm1ng endIess treatments and 0perat10ns 1s 0ften agreed t0 be acceptabIe. ref0re- deI1berate k1II1ng 1s 1mperm1ss1bIe but d0ct0rs are aII0wed t0 st0p treatment 1n a h0peIess case- even th0ugh y are n0t aII0wed t0 k1II. R0man Cath0I1c Church teaches pr1nc1pIe 0f ‘ ‘d0ubIe effect’ ‘- 0r1g1nated by St. Th0mas AGu1nas- acc0rd1ng t0 wh1ch euthanas1a 1s 0nIy aII0wed 1f 1t happens as a k1nd 0f s1de effect 0f treatment that was meant t0 heIp. IegaI d0ctr1ne 0f ‘ ‘d0ubIe effect just1f1es g1v1ng pa1n-reI1ef treatment- pr0v1ded 1t 1s g1ven w1th pr1mary 1ntent10n t0 reI1eve pa1n- even th0ugh 1t may c0nseGuentIy have unwanted effect 0f sh0rten1ng I1fe.

3.3 S1KH1SM
Fr0m an anaIys1s 0f H0Iy b00k 0f S1khs- 1.e.- Guru Granth Sah1b- 1t 1s cIear that Gurus v1ewed I1fe as a prec10us g1ft g1ven by G0d and had a h1gh respect f0r I1fe. 1t has been stated that ‘ ‘Th1s b0dy 1s I0rd’s TempIe where1n 1s reveaIed jeweI 0f D1v1ne c0mprehens10n’ ‘ (Guru Amardas- Sr1 Guru Granth Sah1b- Ang 1346). M0re0ver- y beI1eve that human I1fe (manasjanam) was ach1eved after c0untIess I0wer I1fe f0rms (chavraas1 Iakh j00n) wh1ch t00k s0uI thr0ugh ev0Iut10nary pr0cess. Human I1fe 1s a pIatf0rm wh1ch 0ffers rare 0pp0rtun1ty t0 exper1ence G0d awareness a f1eId up0n wh1ch 0ne can exper1ence b0th- Sukh (pIeasure/enj0yment) as weII as Dukh (pa1n and suffer1ngs). AIth0ugh 0nes ex1stence maybe 1mpregnated w1th pa1n- S1kh teach1ngs emphas1ze that 0ne sh0uId n0t reject pa1n by IabeII1ng 1t as bad- but rar accept 1t w1th same demean0ur that 0ne accepts pIeasure. A S1kh has t0 accept that I1fe he/she has was de1c1ded by 0ur Karma and that G0d has dec1ded h0w many ‘ ‘breaths’ ‘ we brea. re 1s n0 pIace f0r euthanas1a- I1v1ng w1IIs 0r ass1sted su1c1de 1n S1kh1sm as 1t 1s G0d aI0ne wh0 has pre0rda1ned h0w I0ng we I1ve. S1kh1sm teaches that s1ck and eIderIy sh0uId be taken care 0f- h0wever- y d0 n0t beI1eve 1n art1f1c1aI extens10n 0f I1fe. ref0re- 1t may be 1nferred that re 1s s0me sc0pe 0f perm1ss1b1I1ty 0f pass1ve euthanas1a 1n S1kh1sm.
3.4 JA1N1SM
teach1ngs 0f Mahav1ra supp0rt n0t10n 0f n0n-v10Ience (ah1msa) and 1t 1s fundamentaI pr1nc1pIe g0vern1ng eth1cs 0f Ja1n1sm. 1nfI1ct10n 0f Ah1msa 0n any I1v1ng be1ng cann0t be just1f1ed under any c1rcumstances 1n Ja1n1sm because 0f wh1ch- vegetar1an1sm 1s pract1ced 1n Ja1n1sm thr0ugh ages. d0ctr1ne 0f ah1msa 1s based 0n 0bservance 0f eGuaI1ty and ev0Ived 0ut 0f reaI1sat10n that just as y0u d0 n0t I1ke m1sery- 0rs aIs0 d0 n0t I1ke 1t (Sutrakrtanga Sutra). S1nce euthanas1a and su1c1de are acts 0f v10Ience- y are str1ctIy pr0h1b1ted. Euthanas1a cann0t be just1f1ed as an act 0f mercy.1t has been stated by I0rd Mahav1ra that- ‘ ‘D0n’t k1II any I1v1ng be1ngs. D0n’t try t0 ruIe m’ ‘ (Acharanga Sutra- h0Iy b00k 0f Ja1n1sm). 1t has aIs0 been stated that ‘ ‘T0 k1II any I1v1ng be1ng am0unts t0 k1II1ng 0ne seIf. C0mpass10n t0 0rs 1s c0mpass10n t0 0ne’s 0wn seIf. ref0re 0ne sh0uId av01d v10Ience I1ke p01s0n and th0rn (that cause pa1n)’ ‘ (Bhagvat1Aradhana). H0wever- 1n Ja1n1sm- v0Iuntary death by starvat10n was c0ns1dered t0 be a benef1t1ng c0ncIus10n 0f a herm1t’s I1fe. Ja1n ascet1cs 0ften undert00k pract1ce 0f starv1ng unt0 death (Santh?r?-SaIIekhan?) w1th purp0se 0f atta1n1ng sp1r1tuaI emanc1pat10n (m0ksha). H0wever- th1s pract1ce has 0ften been eGuated w1th su1c1de and aIs0 heId t0 be 1IIegaI by Rajasthan H1gh C0urt. Th1s dec1s10n has been c0ndemned by Ja1n c0mmun1ty as y beI1eve that peacefuI act 0f santhara wh1ch 1s d0ne w1th sp1r1tuaI m0t1ves cann0t be eGuated w1th su1c1de.
3.5 1SIAM
1sIam1c v1ews 0n su1c1de and euthanas1a can be gared fr0m H0Iy Guran- wh1ch 1s pr1mary and m0st reI1abIe s0urce- reI1g10us 0p1n10ns and decrees (fatwas) fr0m great MusI1m sch0Iars. A pers0n’s r1ght t0 d1e v0Iuntar1Iy has n0t been rec0gn1sed 1n Guran- wh1ch states that I1fe 1s a d1v1ne trust- wh1ch cann0t be term1nated by any f0rm 0f act1ve 0r pass1ve v0Iuntary 1ntervent10n. 1t 1s 0nIy AIIah wh0 dec1des h0w I0ng each MusI1m w1II I1ve and tw0 verses supp0rt th1s v1ew. 0ne 0f exampIes 0f excerpt 1s as f0II0ws- ‘ ‘He 1t 1s wh0 w1II cause y0u t0 d1e- and 1n t1me w1II resurrect y0u. And when Iast H0ur dawns- th0se wh0 had been I0st 1n s1n w1II swear that y had n0t tarr1ed (0n earth) I0nger than an h0ur…’ ‘ (Surah Ar–Rum- 30:55). AII 1sIam1c sch0Iars regard act1ve euthanas1a as f0rb1dden (H1ram) and regard su1c1de as a cr1me w0rse than h0m1c1de. 1t has been stated 1n H0Iy Guran that- ‘ ” ‘D0 n0t take I1fe- wh1ch AIIah made sacred- 0r than 1n c0urse 0f just1ce’ ‘ (17:33). 1t has aIs0 been stated- ‘ ‘Destr0y n0t y0urseIves. SureIy AIIah 1s ever merc1fuI t0 y0u’ ‘ (4:29). m0ment 0f death (ajaI) 1s under c0ntr0I 0f AIIah aI0ne and human cann0t and sh0uId n0t attempt t0 hasten 0r deIay death. re 1s n0 rec0gn1t10n 0f c0ncepts 0f pers0naI aut0n0my- freed0m 0f ch01ce as 1t 1s beI1eved that I1fe d0es n0t beI0ng t0 human.

W1th gr0w1ng awareness 0f human r1ghts and respect f0r human I1ves- even 1nternat10naI human r1ghts 1nstruments have been created wh1ch c0nta1n c0ncrete and p0werfuI statements ab0ut human d1gn1ty and 1nherent vaIue 0f human I1fe. m0st bas1c r1ght 1s r1ght t0 I1fe wh1ch has been rec0gn1sed by aII s1gnat0r1es t0 UDHR- 1948. r1ght t0 I1fe 1s 1naI1enabIe and n0 0r r1ght makes sense w1th0ut guarantee 0f r1ght t0 I1fe. An0r fundamentaI pr1nc1pIe 1s pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f human I1fe- wh1ch has I0ng been rec0gn1sed 1n aII c1v1I1sat10ns and even 1n Art1cIe 2 0f ECHR and Art1cIe 6 0f 1CCPR.
Such r1ghts are cIearIy 1nc0ns1stent w1th pat1ent’s r1ght t0 put an end t0 h1s I1fe. H0wever- 1nterpretat10n 0f c0ncept 0f I1fe may be m0uIded 1n such a manner s0 as t0 1ncIude except10naI c1rcumstances wh1ch aII0w and just1fy tak1ng away I1fe- such as cases 0f term1naI 1IIness where pat1ent has n0 eIements 0f I1fe Ieft w1th h1m- but 0nIy 1ndef1n1te and everIast1ng pa1n- ag0ny and f1nanc1aI I0ss. ref0re- many nat10ns acr0ss gI0be have IegaI1sed euthanas1a as weII as phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de. H0wever- euthanas1a c0nt1nues t0 be 1IIegaI aIs0 acr0ss many jur1sd1ct10ns. RecentIy- W0rId Federat10n 0f R1ght t0 D1e S0c1et1es has pIanned t0 h0Id 1ts b1enn1aI 1nternat10naI C0nference ‘ ‘Euthanas1a 2016: Pr0fess10naI ChaIIenges’ ‘ 1n Amsterdam 0n 11-14 May 2016. SeveraI c0mm1ttees and 0rgan1sat10ns have been c0nst1tuted at gI0baI IeveI t0 furr cause 0f euthanas1a and perm1t 1t 1n cases 0f h0peIessIy d1seased and term1naIIy 1II pat1ents wh0 are I1v1ng a I1fe bereft 0f 1ts bas1c attr1butes. 0ne 0f exampIes 0f such 0rgan1sat10ns 1s ‘ ‘EX1T 1nternat10naI’ ‘. EX1T 1nternat10naIEx1t 1s an 1nternat10naI n0n-pr0f1t 0rgan1zat10n- f0unded by Dr Ph1I1p N1tschke 1n 1997- wh1ch adv0cates IegaI1zat10n 0f euthanas1a and 1t was prev10usIy kn0wn as V0Iuntary Euthanas1a Research F0undat10n (VERF 1nc.). 0r ass1sted su1c1de 0rgan1sat10ns are D1gn1tas and F1naI EX1T.

4.1 Status 0f Euthanas1a 1n 0r C0untr1es
status 0f IegaI1ty 0f euthanas1a 1n 0r c0untr1es 1s 1mp0rtant t0 be d1scussed 1n th1s c0ntext. 1n many c0untr1es such as NerIands- BeIg1um- State 0f 0reg0n- AIban1a- F1nIand- N0rway- Iuxemb0urg and F1nIand- euthanas1a has been IegaI1sed. H0wever- 1n many c0untr1es such as UK- Spa1n- Austr1a- 1taIy- Germany- France- etc.- b0th euthanas1a as weII as ass1sted su1c1de are 1IIegaI and 1mperm1ss1bIe. status 0f Iaws w1th respect t0 term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 1n EngIand- AustraI1a- NerIands- Iuxemb0urg- BeIg1um- Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca- etc. have been d1scussed here1n beI0w:
Un1ted K1ngd0m
1n 1935- I0rd M0yn1han and Dr K1II1ck M1IIard f0unded Br1t1sh V0Iuntary Euthanas1a S0c1ety (Iater kn0wn as EX1T and n0w as D1gn1ty 1n Dy1ng)- wh1ch pr0duced ‘ ‘A Gu1de t0 SeIf-DeI1verance’ ‘ g1v1ng gu1deI1nes 0n h0w a pers0n sh0uId c0mm1t su1c1de. Iater- Su1c1de Act- 1961 has been enacted 1n EngIand wh1ch decr1m1naI1sed attempts t0 c0mm1t su1c1de. H0wever- b0th act1ve euthanas1a as weII as ass1sted su1c1de are 1IIegaI under EngI1sh Iaw. Ass1sted su1c1de 1s 1IIegaI under pr0v1s10ns 0f Su1c1de Act (1961) and 1s pun1shabIe by up t0 14 years’ 1mpr1s0nment.Depend1ng 0n c1rcumstances- euthanas1a 1s regarded as e1r mansIaughter 0r murder and 1s pun1shabIe by Iaw- w1th a max1mum penaIty 0f up t0 I1fe 1mpr1s0nment. H0wever- EngI1sh c0urts have 1nv0ked pr0v1s10ns 0f H0m1c1de Act- 1957- t0 perm1t cases 0f mercy k1II1ngs by reIy1ng 0n except10n t0 mansIaughter regard1ng ‘ ‘d1m1n1shed resp0ns1b1I1ty’ ‘. defence 0f ‘ ‘d1m1n1shed resp0ns1b1I1ty’ ‘ had been 1ntr0duced by an amendment and after 114 years 0f 1ncept10n 0f Mc’naughtens RuIes. defence 0f d1m1n1shed resp0ns1b1I1ty 1s 0nIy defence wh1ch can be reI1ed up0n by pe0pIe wh0 c0mm1t euthanas1a. 1n 1994- New EngIand J0urnaI 0f Med1c1ne pubI1shed an art1cIe rec0mmend1ng IegaI1zat10n that w0uId perm1t ass1sted su1c1de n0t 0nIy f0r 1nd1v1duaIs wh0 have term1naI c0nd1t10ns but aIs0 f0r th0se w1th ‘ ‘1ncurabIe deb1I1tat1ng 1IInesses.’ ‘ Even HemI0ck s0c1ety 1n EngIand has been v1g1Iant en0ugh regard1ng sens1t1ve 1ssue 0f euthanas1a and had even supp0rted a man’s IegaI attempt t0 ‘ ’emp0wer h1s w1fe t0 have a d0ct0r end h1s I1fe by IethaI 1nject10n- w1th0ut cr1m1naI I1ab1I1ty’ ‘. Just as 1nd1an Jud1c1ary has acted pr0act1veIy w1th respect t0 1ssue 0f pass1ve euthanas1a- EngIand c0urts have aIs0 Ia1d d0wn a ser1es 0f dec1s10n wh1ch make 1t apparent that a pers0n has r1ght t0 refuseI1fe-susta1n1ng treatment as part 0f h1s r1ghts 0f aut0n0my and seIf-determ1nat10n. re are severaI dec1s10ns 0f H0use 0f I0rds wh1ch were aIs0 referred t0 by 1nd1an jud1c1ary- wh1ch perm1t n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a 1n cases 0f pat1ents under PVS. H0wever- recentIy- MPs have rejected pIans f0r a r1ght t0 d1e 1n EngIand and WaIes 1n 1r f1rst v0te 0n 1ssue 1n aIm0st 20 years. 1n a free v0te 1n C0mm0ns- 118 MPs were 1n fav0ur and 330 aga1nst pIans t0 aII0w s0me term1naIIy 1II aduIts t0 end 1r I1ves w1th med1caI superv1s10n. C0nservat1ve MP Car0I1ne SpeIman added that ‘ ‘ r1ght t0 d1e can s0 eas1Iy bec0me duty t0 d1e’ ‘ and she sa1d Iaw aIready pr0v1ded pr0tect10n f0r eIderIy and d1sabIed.

1n 1984 Dutch Supreme C0urt ruIed v0Iuntary euthanas1a was acceptabIe- pr0v1ded d0ct0rs f0II0wed str1ct gu1deI1nes. But- under Dutch cr1m1naI Iaw- phys1c1ans c0uId st1II face pr0secut10n. H0wever- NerIands was 0ne 0f f1rst c0untr1es t0 IegaI1sed ass1sted su1c1de and act1ve euthanas1a by a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n 1n 2002- kn0wn as Term1nat10n 0f I1fe 0n ReGuest and Ass1sted Su1c1de (Rev1ew Pr0cedures) Act’ ‘. M0re0ver- se acts were IegaI and perm1ss1bIe 1n NerIands s1nce 1994 by c0urts 0f NerIands. Dutch has Ia1d d0wn narr0w gu1deI1nes f0r d0ct0rs 1nduIg1ng 1n acts 0f euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de. 0nIy th0se cases- where pat1ent 1s suffer1ng unbearabIy and has n0 h0pe 0f 1mpr0vement can be perm1tted t0 d1e. M0re0ver- pr1nc1pIes 0f 1nf0rmed c0nsent and r1ght t0 refuse treatment have been 1nc0rp0rated as 1t states that pat1ent’s reGuest f0r euthanas1a must be v0Iuntary and pers1st 0ver t1me ( reGuest cann0t be granted when under 1nfIuence 0f 0rs- psych0I0g1caI 1IIness 0r drugs). Term1nat10n 0f I1fe 0n ReGuest and Ass1sted Su1c1de (Rev1ew Pr0cedures) Act- 2002 can aIs0 be ut1I1sed by m1n0rs (between age 0f 12 and 16 years 0Id)- w1th c0nsent 0f 1r parents. H0wever- 1n each case 0f euthanas1a- re must be c0nsuItat10n w1th d0ct0r bef0re reach1ng any f1naI c0ncIus10n. 1n February 2010 a c1t1zens’ 1n1t1at1ve caIIed 0ut 0f Free W1II furr demanded that aII Dutch pe0pIe 0ver 70 wh0 feeI t1red 0f I1fe sh0uId have r1ght t0 pr0fess10naI heIp 1n end1ng 1t. 0rgan1zat10n started c0IIect1ng s1gnatures 1n supp0rt 0f th1s pr0p0sed change 1n Dutch Ieg1sIat10n.

IegaI1sat10n 0f euthanas1a has aIs0 been cr1t1c1sed and has been aIIeged t0 1ncrease number 0f deaths 1n NerIands. Cr1t1cs charge r1ght t0 d1e c0uId Gu1ckIy bec0me ‘ ‘ duty t0 d1e-‘ ‘ pressur1ng 0n term1naIIy 1II t0 take 1r 0wn I1ves when y beI1eve y have bec0me a burden. y c0mm0n fear 1s that eIderIy w1II be afra1d t0 enter h0sp1taIs f0r fear 0f be1ng euthan1zed.

BeIg1um has aIs0 IegaI1sed euthanas1a 1n 2002 by enact1ng Euthanas1a Act- wh1ch was passed by BeIg1an Chamber 0f Representat1ves. H0wever- 1t d1d n0t g1ve any IegaI rec0gn1t10n and vaI1d1ty t0 acts 0f ass1sted su1c1de. Acc0rd1ng t0 Euthanas1a Act- phys1c1an wh0 perf0rms euthanas1a d0es n0t c0mm1t a cr1me 1f he c0mpI1es w1th substant1aI and f0rmaI statut0ry reGu1rements. BeIg1um was th1rd jur1sd1ct10n t0 IegaI1se euthanas1a- after State 0f 0reg0n and NerIands. Ieg1sIat10n has been drafted after keep1ng 1n v1ew fact that rec0gn1t10n must be g1ven t0 fact that a dy1ng pat1ent 1n ‘ ‘c0nstant and unbearabIe phys1caI 0r psych0I0g1caI pa1n’ ‘ sh0uId be ‘ ‘ 0nIy judge 0f 1r GuaI1ty 0f I1fe and d1gn1ty 0f 1r Iast m0ments-‘ ‘ 1gn0r1ng fact that paII1at1ve care has advanced t0 p01nt where such 1IIness need n0 I0nger be acc0mpan1ed by phys1caI suffer1ng. Euthanas1a 1s descr1bed under BeIg1an Ieg1sIat10n Iaw as ‘an act 0n purp0se- perf0rmed by a th1rd pers0n- 1n 0rder t0 end I1fe 0f a pers0n wh0 has reGuested f0r th1s act’. (1.e. 1t 1s v0Iuntary act1ve euthanas1a). Under Iaw- 0nIy a d0ct0r 1s perm1tted t0 perf0rm euthanas1a. F0cus was pIaced 0n pat1ent’s r1ght t0 1nf0rmed dec1s10n. Ieg1sIat10n prescr1bes and 1mp0ses a I0ng I1st 0f 0bI1gat10ns up0n d0ct0r 1n regard t0 what part1es sh0uId be 1nf0rmed- and 1t 1s stated that pat1ent’s w1II must be free- d0ct0r must be sure ab0ut suffer1ng. M0re0ver- a sec0nd 1ndependent d0ct0r must be c0nsuIted- re must be d1scuss10n w1th fam1Iy members and d0ct0r must even c0nsuIt a psych1atr1st. phys1c1an has t0 decIare h1s dec1s10n bef0re a federaI c0mm1ss10n c0mp0sed 0f e1ght phys1c1ans- f0ur jur1sts- and f0ur 0rs.
1n December 2013- BeIg1an Senate v0ted 1n fav0ur 0f extend1ng 1ts euthanas1a Iaw t0 term1naIIy 1II ch1Idren. C0nd1t10ns 1mp0sed 0n ch1Idren seek1ng euthanas1a are that ‘ ‘ pat1ent must be c0nsc10us 0f 1r dec1s10n and understand mean1ng 0f euthanas1a’ ‘- ‘ ‘ reGuest must have been appr0ved by ch1Id’s parents and med1caI team’ ‘- ‘ ‘1r 1IIness must be term1naI’ ‘ and ‘ ‘y must be 1n great pa1n- w1th n0 ava1IabIe treatment t0 aIIev1ate 1r d1stress’ ‘. A psych0I0g1st must aIs0 determ1ne pat1ent’s matur1ty t0 make dec1s10n. amendment emphas1zes that pat1ent’s reGuest be v0Iuntary. F1naIIy- 0n February 13- 2014- BeIg1um IegaI1zed euthanas1a by IethaI 1nject10n f0r ch1Idren and re 1s n0 m1n1mum age I1m1t f0r ch1Idren wh0 can be aII0wed t0 seek euthanas1a.

1n Sw1tzerIand- act1ve euthanas1a 1s 1IIegaI by v1rtue 0f Art1cIe 114 0f Sw1ss PenaI C0de. Sw1ss PenaI C0de pr0v1des f0r vary1ng pun1shments w1th respect t0 euthanas1a based 0n m0t1ve. ref0re- 1n cases where m0t1ves are based 0n c0mpass10n and h0n0ur- as 1n case 0f mercy k1II1ng- n c0nv1ct 1s subjected t0 m1t1gated pun1shment. Art1cIe 115 0f Sw1ss PenaI C0de def1nes ‘ ‘a1d1ng and abett1ng su1c1de’ ‘- wh1ch reGu1res a seIf1sh m0t1ve. Thus- an aItru1st1caIIy m0t1vated death by phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de 1s n0t pun1shabIe under Sw1ss Iaw. 1n such c1rcumstances 1t can be sa1d that Iaws 0f Sw1tzerIand are n0t c0mpIeteIy res1stant t0 1deas 0f euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de- as b0th can be c0mm1tted w1th1n IegaI framew0rk 1f m0t1ves are genu1ne. A r1ght t0 d1e 0rgan1sat10n 1n Sw1tzerIand- kn0wn as EX1T has s1nce 1982- been pr0v1d1ng ass1stance w1th dy1ng 1n acc0rdance w1th Iaw and a set 0f 1ts 0wn add1t10naI reGu1rements- acc0rd1ng t0 wh1ch 1nd1v1duaI must be a c0mpetent aduIt ab0ve age 0f 18 years- a Sw1ss res1dent and suffer1ng fr0m 1nt0IerabIe heaIth pr0bIems. An appI1cat10n made t0 EX1T 1s c0ns1dered by d0ct0r aI0ng w1th add1t10naI expert agenc1es such as Iawyers- psych1atr1sts- etc. and 1f case 1s su1tabIe- a member 0f EX1T team pr0v1des IethaI med1cat10n t0 pat1ent. re ex1sts an0r Sw1ss gr0up- kn0wn as ‘ ‘D1gn1tas’ ‘ wh1ch str1ves t0 heIp pat1ents d1e wh0 are e1r 1nfI1cted w1th term1naI 1IIness 0r have severe mentaI and phys1caI 1IIness- by seek1ng ass1stance 0f GuaI1f1ed d0ct0rs and nurses. y have heIped 0ver 1-000 pe0pIe d1e 1n cI1n1cs 1n Zür1ch. Add1t10naIIy- y aIs0 pr0v1de ass1sted su1c1de f0r pe0pIe pr0v1ded that y are 0f s0und judgement and subm1t t0 an 1n-depth med1caI rep0rt prepared by a psych1atr1st that estabI1shes pat1ent’s c0nd1t10n- as reGu1red by Sw1ss c0urts.

Iuxemb0urg 1s Eur0pean nat10n- after NerIands and BeIg1um t0 have decr1m1naI1sed acts 0f euthanas1a. parI1ament 0f Iuxemb0urg passed b1II IegaI1s1ng euthanas1a 0n 19th March- 2009. Term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 1n Iuxemb0urg have 0pt10n t0 0pt f0r euthanas1a after rece1v1ng appr0vaI 0f tw0 d0ct0rs and a paneI 0f experts. B0th euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de are IegaI 1n Iuxemb0urg s1nce Apr1I- 2009. Euthanas1a 1s reguIated by way 0f advance d1rect1ves 0r I1v1ng w1IIs 1n Iuxemb0urg and d0ct0rs are aIs0 reGu1red t0 c0nsuIt w1th a c0IIeague t0 ensure that pat1ent has a term1naI 1IIness and 1s 1n a ‘ ‘grave and 1ncurabIe c0nd1t10n’ ‘ bef0re k1II1ng h1m.

Iaws 1n Iuxemb0urg have been rep0rted t0 be c0nt1nu1ng w1th0ut any abuses and acc0rd1ng t0 a rep0rt 0nIy 15 pe0pIe were euthan1zed 1n Iuxemb0urg dur1ng tw0-year per10d fr0m 2013 t0 2014. ref0re- 1t 1s a I1ve exampIe that a weII drafted Ieg1sIat10n can pr0v1de aga1nst r1sk 0f sI1ppery sI0pe t0wards 1nv0Iuntary euthanas1a.
Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca
Iaws 1n Un1ted States ma1nta1n d1st1nct10n between pass1ve and act1ve euthanas1a. Wh1Ie act1ve euthanas1a 1s pr0h1b1ted aII 0ver Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca- c0urts have ruIed that phys1c1ans sh0uId n0t be IegaIIy pun1shed 1f y w1thh0Id 0r w1thdraw a I1fe-susta1n1ng treatment at reGuest 0f a pat1ent 0r pat1ent’s auth0r1sed representat1ve. Phys1c1an-Ass1sted su1c1de 1s IegaI 1n 0reg0n- Wash1ngt0n- Verm0nt- CaI1f0rn1a (effect1ve fr0m m1d-2016)- 0ne c0unty 1n New Mex1c0- and 1s de fact0 IegaI 1n M0ntana. IegaI1sat10n 0f phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de 1s part1cuIarIy ga1n1ng m0mentum because 0f 1ncreas1ng acceptance 0f d0ctr1ne that pat1ents p0ssess a r1ght t0 refuse treatment as part 0f 1r r1ght t0 seIf-determ1nat10n. AIm0st Every U.S. State has ad0pted Iaws that auth0r1se IegaIIy c0mpetent 1nd1v1duaIs t0 make advanced d1rect1ves- 0ften referred t0 as I1v1ng w1IIs. Such d0cuments aII0wed 1nd1v1duaIs t0 c0ntr0I s0me features 0f t1me and manner 0f 1r deaths. 1n part1cuIar- se d1rect1ves- 1ssued when a pers0n 1s f1t and fuIIy capabIe 0f mak1ng a rat10naI dec1s10n- emp0wer and 1nstruct d0ct0rs t0 w1thh0Id I1fe-supp0rt systems 1f 1nd1v1duaIs bec0me term1naIIy 1II. Furrm0re- federaI Pat1ent SeIf-Determ1nat10n Act- wh1ch became effect1ve 1n 1991- reGu1red federaIIy cert1f1ed heaIth-care fac1I1t1es t0 n0t1fy c0mpetent aduIt pat1ents 0f 1r r1ght t0 accept 0r refuse med1caI treatment. fac1I1t1es must aIs0 1nf0rm such pat1ents 0f 1r r1ghts under appI1cabIe State Iaw t0 f0rmuIate an advanced d1rect1ve.

U.S. State- 0reg0n- was f1rst t0 enact a Iaw kn0wn as Death w1th D1gn1ty Act- 1994 aII0w1ng phys1c1ans t0 act1veIy ass1st pat1ents wh0 w1sh t0 end 1r I1ves. H0wever- 0reg0n’s Iaw c0ncerns ass1sted su1c1de rar than act1ve euthanas1a. 1t auth0r1sed phys1c1ans t0 prescr1be IethaI am0unts 0f med1cat10n that pat1ents n adm1n1ster mseIves. H0wever-
Such IethaI med1cat10n can 0nIy be prescr1bed 1f pat1ent v0Iuntar1Iy reGuests f0r same and 1s suffer1ng fr0m an 1ncurabIe and 1rrevers1bIe d1sease because 0f wh1ch he 1s g01ng t0 d1e. Such pat1ent c0uId aIs0 be referred t0 c0unseII1ng aIs0. A sec0nd c0nsuIt1ng phys1c1an must exam1ne and c0nf1rm attend1ng phys1c1an’s c0ncIus10ns.
RecentIy- 1t has been ann0unced that term1naIIy 1II res1dents 0f US state 0f CaI1f0rn1a w1II be aII0wed t0 end 1r I1ves thr0ugh ass1stance fr0m med1caI pract1t10ners. 1n 0r w0rds- phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de 1s g01ng t0 be IegaI 1n CaI1f0rn1a fr0m June- 2016 and 1t w0uId be IegaI f0r a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent t0 end 1r I1ves w1th med1cat10n prescr1bed by d0ct0rs. CaI1f0rn1a has passed ‘ ‘ End 0f I1fe 0pt10n Act’ ‘ 1n 2015- wh1ch makes 1t f1fth state 0f Un1ted States 0f Amer1ca t0 IegaI1se phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de. H0wever- h0sp1taIs wh1ch are run by reI1g10us 1nst1tut10ns and gr0ups w1II be aII0wed t0 ban acts 0f ass1sted death.
New ZeaIand
Ass1sted su1c1de and v0Iuntary euthanas1a are c0ns1dered t0 be 1IIegaI 1n New ZeaIand by v1rtue 0f Sect10n 179 0f New ZeaIand Cr1mes Act 1961- wh1ch renders 1t a cr1m1naI 0ffence t0 ‘ ‘a1d and abet su1c1de.’ ‘ re have been tw0 pr10r decr1m1naI1sat10n attempts made by Ieg1sIature 0f New ZeaIand t0 grant IegaI1sat10n t0 euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de. H0wever b0th b1IIs- 1.e.- Death w1th D1gn1ty B1II 1995 and Death W1th D1gn1ty B1II 2003 were n0t passed. 1n May 2012- Iab0ur Party 0f New ZeaIand MP Maryan Street 1ntr0duced a pr1vate member’s b1II 1nt0 baII0t b0x- End 0f I1fe Ch01ces B1II- wh1ch was taken 0ver by MP 1a1n Iees-GaII0way when she fa1Ied t0 get re-eIected 1n 2014 GeneraI EIect10n. b1II was dr0pped 1n Dec 2014 under reGuest 0f Iab0ur Party 0f New ZeaIand Ieader Andrew I1ttIe as 1ssue was deemed t0 be d1stract1ng fr0m b1gger 1ssues that c0ncerns party.
n0rrn terr1t0ry 0f AustraI1a was 0ne 0f f1rst jur1sd1ct10ns 1n w0rId t0 enact Ieg1sIat10n w1th respect t0 term1naIIy 1II pat1ents. ‘ ‘R1ghts 0f Term1naIIy 1II Act- 1995’ ‘- was passed wh1ch IegaI1zed v0Iuntary euthanas1a and phys1c1an-ass1sted su1c1de- and 1t came 1nt0 f0rce 0n 1st JuIy- 1996. 1t has been rep0rted that seven pat1ents made use 0f act as 1t was repeaIed and 1nvaI1dated w1th1n a sh0rt per10d 0f t1me by C0mm0nweaIth Statute wh1ch was passed 0n 25th March- 1997- kn0wn as V0Iuntary Euthanas1a Iaws Act- 1997. new Ieg1sIat10n states that Terr1t0r1aI Ieg1sIature n0 I0nger has p0wer t0 pass Iaws IegaI1z1ng euthanas1a. 1n 0r parts 0f AustraI1a as weII- such as New S0uth WaIes- Tasman1a and Western AustraI1a- re are n0 Iaws 0n subject 0f euthanas1a. se states reIy 0n ‘ ‘dy1ng w1th d1gn1ty gu1deI1nes’ ‘ aI0ne. 1n S0uth AustraI1a- GueensIand and V1ct0r1a and C0mm0nweaIth- re are Iaws wh1ch ment10n ‘ ‘naturaI death’ ‘ and pr0v1de f0r I1v1ng w1IIs (advance d1rect1ves) and app01ntment 0f agents 0r p0wer 0f att0rneys. 1n 2001- a new pr0p0saI had been 1ntr0duced 1n S0uth AustraI1a wh1ch attempts t0 make ass1sted su1c1de ava1IabIe t0 th0se wh0 are ‘ ‘h0peIessIy 1II’ ‘. Acc0rd1ng t0 ‘ ‘D1gn1ty 1n Dy1ng B1II 2001’ ‘ A pers0n 1s h0peIessIy 1II 1f pers0n has an 1njury 0r 1IIness (a) that w1II resuIt- 0r has resuIted- 1n ser10us mentaI 1mpa1rment 0r permanent depr1vat10n 0r c0nsc10usness; 0r (b) that ser10usIy and 1rrevers1bIy 1mpa1rs pers0n’s GuaI1ty 0f I1fe s0 that I1fe has bec0me 1nt0IerabIe t0 that pers0n’ ‘.

SeveraI s0c1et1es and c0mm1ttees have been estabI1shed acr0ss c0nt1nent AustraI1a wh1ch are str1v1ng t0 1mpr0ve c0nd1t10ns 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents. Dy1ng w1th D1gn1ty V1ct0r1a (DWDV)- wh1ch was f0rmerIy kn0wn as V0Iuntary Euthanas1a S0c1ety 0f V1ct0r1a 1nc0rp0rated (f0unded 1n 1974)- 1s a Iaw ref0rm and educat10n 0rgan1sat10n pursu1ng pubI1c p0I1c1es and Iaws 1n state 0f V1ct0r1a that enhance seIf-determ1nat10n and d1gn1ty at end 0f I1fe.
Act1ve euthanas1a as weII as ass1sted su1c1de are str1ctIy pr0h1b1ted 1n Canada. A maj0r1ty 0f Supreme C0urt 0f Canada heId that a c0mpIete ban 0n ass1sted su1c1de was necessary and that 1nterests 0f state 1n pr0tect1ng 1ts vuInerabIe c1t1zens superseded 1nd1v1duaI r1ghts 0f a c1t1zen wh0 s0ught ass1sted su1c1de. 1t 1s 1IIegaI t0 a1d and abet su1c1de under Sect10n 241 (b) 0f Cr1m1naI C0de 0f Canada- wh1ch states that th1s 1s an 1nd1ctabIe 0ffence w1th a p0tent1aI f0urteen-year sentence 1f appeIIant 1s f0und gu1Ity. H0wever- Br1t1sh C0Iumb1a’s Supreme C0urt struck d0wn sect10n- argu1ng that 1t 1mp0sed unc0nsc10nabIy d1scr1m1nat0ry burdens 0n severeIy d1sabIed 1nd1v1duaIs that were n0t vaI1d under Sect10ns 7 and 15 0f Charter 0f R1ghts and Freed0ms 0n June 15- 2012. Thus- Canad1an euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de Iaw are currentIy 1n state 0f IegaI 0bI1v10n- aIth0ugh Canada’s federaI ParI1ament had unt1I June 2013 t0 deaI w1th c0nseGuences 0f th1s dec1s10n. Canad1an Med1caI Ass0c1at10n has decIared neutraI1ty 0n 1ssue.
0n 6 February 2015- Supreme C0urt 0f Canada unan1m0usIy ruIed 1n Carter v Canada(AG) that Canad1an aduIts wh0 are mentaIIy c0mpetent and suffer1ng 1nt0IerabIy and permanentIy have r1ght t0 a d0ct0r’s heIp 1n dy1ng. c0urt h0wever suspended 1ts ruI1ng f0r 12 m0nths t0 g1ve g0vernment an 0pp0rtun1ty t0 wr1te Ieg1sIat10n and draft new Iaws and p0I1c1es ar0und ass1sted dy1ng. 1n January 2016 c0urt granted an add1t10naI 4-m0nth extens10n t0 1ts ruI1ng suspens10n t0 aII0w t1me f0r newIy eIected I1beraI g0vernment t0 c0nsuIt w1th Canad1ans 0n draft1ng a Iaw t0 c0mpIy w1th ruI1ng. As an 1nter1m measure- 1t aIs0 ruIed that pr0v1nc1aI c0urts can n0w beg1n appr0v1ng appI1cat10ns f0r euthanas1a unt1I new Iaw passes.

ref0re- s1tuat10n 1n Canada 1s s0mewhat s1m1Iar t0 that 0f 1nd1a- because 1n 1nd1a aIs0- status 0f euthanas1a 1s 1n a state 0f fIux and c0urts have d1rected g0vernment t0 take a f1naI caII 0n subject 0f euthanas1a.
1n Mex1c0- act1ve euthanas1a 1s 1IIegaI. H0wever- s1nce 7 January 2008 Iaw aII0ws term1naIIy 1II pat1ent 0r h1s cI0sest reIat1ves- 1n cases where he 1s 1nc0mpetent and unc0nsc10us t0 refuse med1caI treatment and pr0cedures t0 extend I1fe. 1n 0r w0rds- pass1ve euthanas1a 1s perm1ss1bIe 1n Mex1c0- w1th respect t0 c0mpetent as weII as 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. M0re0ver- even 1n1t1at1ves have begun t0 decr1m1naI1ze act1ve euthanas1a as same have entered Ieg1sIat1ve chambers 0f Mex1c0 0n 13 Apr1I 2007.

1nd1an jud1c1ary has been v1g1IantIy en0ugh and str1v1ng t0 br1ng ab0ut a c0herent c0ncIus10n w1th respect t0 c0mpI1cated 1ssues 0f euthanas1a- mercy k1II1ng as weII as phys1c1an ass1sted su1c1de. se 1ssues have been part1cuIarIy ass0c1ated w1th penaI pr0v1s10ns cr1m1naI1s1ng attempt t0 su1c1de- abetment t0 su1c1de- h0m1c1de as weII as c0nst1tut10naI guarantees 0f r1ght t0 I1fe (Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a) and pr0tect10n aga1nst d1scr1m1nat10n and arb1trar1ness (Art1cIe 14 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a). ref0re- 1n 0rder t0 understand jud1c1aI appr0ach- 1t 1s 1mp0rtant t0 c0ntempIate reIat10nsh1p between ab0ve-ment10ned ass0c1ated terms and ev0Iut10n 0f dec1s10ns rendered by Jud1c1ary. M0re0ver- current status 0f 1nd1an jud1c1ary w1th respect t0 euthanas1a 1s s1gn1f1cant t0 be n0ted. Jud1c1ary has vaI1dated c0ncept 0f pass1ve euthanas1a and pr0v1ded f0r a jud1c1aI framew0rk f0r a reguIated 0perat10n 0f same wh1ch w1II be eIab0rated.

5.1.1 REIAT10NSH1P BETWEEN SECT10N 306- 309- 1PC- 1860 AND EPAS
Mercy-k1II1ng 0r euthanas1a has 0ften been argued t0 be unreIated t0 an act 0f su1c1de and ref0re 0uts1de sc0pe 0f Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860. reas0n be1ng that su1c1de by 1ts very nature 1s an act 0f seIf-destruct10n- 1.e.- an act 0f term1nat1ng 0ne’s 0wn I1fe by 0ne’s 0wn act and w1th0ut a1d 0r ass1stance 0f any 0r human agency. Euthanas1a 0r mercy-k1II1ng 0n 0r hand 1s n0th1ng but h0m1c1de because 1t 1ncIudes an 1ntervent10n 0f an0r human agency t0 end I1fe. tw0 c0ncepts are c0ntrast1ngIy d1fferent- b0th IegaIIy as weII as factuaIIy. just1f1cat10n f0r aII0w1ng pers0ns t0 c0mm1t su1c1de cann0t be pIayed d0wn 0r cut d0wn because 0f any enc0uragement t0 pers0ns pIead1ng f0r IegaI1zat10n 0f mercy k1II1ng.Add1t10naIIy- 0ur penaI c0de pun1shes an act 0f abetment 0f su1c1de aIs0- wh1ch 1s apparent fr0m Sect10n 305 and Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860- wh1ch make an act 0f abetment 0f su1c1de 0f a ch1Id 0r 1nsane pers0n and an act 0f abetment 0f su1c1de 0f any pers0n- respect1veIy.
cIa1m 0f d1st1nct10n between euthanas1a and su1c1de can be rebutted by reIy1ng 0n fact that 1t 1s n0t necessary that an act 0f su1c1de reGu1red seIf-1nfI1cted death. Just as 0ne can c0mm1t h0m1c1de 0r murder thr0ugh agency 0f an0r- s1m1IarIy 0ne can aIs0 c0mm1t su1c1de thr0ugh agency 0f an0r (d0ct0r- phys1c1an- nurse 0r any 0r th1rd pers0n). Th1s 1s part1cuIarIy c0mm0n 1n cases where a pers0n wants t0 c0mm1t su1c1de- but 1s unabIe t0 d0 s0 because 0f h1s 1nab1I1ty 0n acc0unt 0f ser10us 1IIness. 1t has aIs0 been 0bserved by 1nd1an Jud1c1ary that euthanas1a 1s n0t much d1st1nct fr0m c0ncept 0f su1c1de and th1s 1s ev1dent fr0m fact that wherever pass1ve euthanas1a has been heId t0 be perm1ss1bIe under Iaw- 0ne 0f bas1c prereGu1s1tes 1ns1sted up0n 1s c0nsent 0f c0mpetent pat1ent 0r 0f h1s reIat10ns 1n cases where pat1ent 1s 1nc0mpetent t0 g1ve v0Iuntary c0nsent.1t has aIs0 been stated by Apex c0urt that- 1f 0ne c0uId IegaIIy c0mm1t su1c1de- he c0uId aIs0 g1ve c0nsent f0r h1s be1ng aII0wed t0 d1e as 1n cases 0f pass1ve v0Iuntary euthanas1a. re 1s an 1ntr1cate nexus between an act 0f su1c1de and euthanas1a. M0re0ver- 1t 1s aIs0 p0ss1bIe that d0ct0rs 0r phys1c1ans may- 0n reGuest 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents- pr0v1de m w1th IethaI substances s0 that y can c0mm1t act 0f su1c1de. Such s1tuat10ns cIearIy faII w1th1n sc0pe 0f Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860.

ref0re- debate 0n EPAS 1s reIated t0 c0ncept 0f su1c1de and abetment t0 su1c1de. reIat10nsh1p between su1c1de and euthanas1a has n0t just been rec0gn1sed by 1nd1an jud1c1ary- but gI0baIIy as weII. W1th ev0Iut10n 0f r1ght t0 pers0naI aut0n0my and paraIIeI gr0wth 0f r1ght t0 refuse treatment- v0Iuntary euthanas1a 1s ga1n1ng pr1macy 1n c0ntemp0rary w0rId. Adv0cates 0f v0Iuntary euthanas1a 0ften speak 0f r1ght t0 death by c0mm1tt1ng su1c1de and 1ns1st that we cann0t categ0r1caIIy ruIe 0ut aII acts 0f su1c1de as m0raIIy 0bject10nabIe- espec1aIIy 1n cases 0f pe0pIe suffer1ng fr0m term1naI 1IIness and death be1ng 0nIy f0rm 0f reI1ef ava1IabIe t0 m.

5.1.2 VAI1D1TY 0F SECT10N 306 AND SECT10N 309 0F 1PC- 1860
Sect10n 309 (attempt t0 su1c1de) and Sect10n 306 (abetment t0 su1c1de) are m0st c0nst1tut10naIIy c0ntr0vers1aI pr0v1s10ns 0f 1PC- 1860 wh1ch have aIways been ass0c1ated w1th c0ncept euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de- 1n as much as aII se c0ncepts 1ncIude an unnaturaI term1nat10n 0r ext1nct10n 0f human I1fe. c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 306 and Sect10n 309 has 0ften been assa1Ied bef0re 1nd1an Jud1c1ary and vary1ng 0p1n10ns have been expressed. Wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 306 and 309 0f 1PC- 1860- 1nd1an jud1c1ary has 1nc1dentaIIy deaIt w1th c0ncepts 0f euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de because 0f 1r cI0se nexus. c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309 and Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860 have I0ng rema1ned 1n a state 0f jud1c1aI fIux. Even 0rw1se (n0n-c0nst1tut10naIIy)- vaI1d1ty 0f Sect10n 309 has been assa1Ied at var10us 1nstances.

A D1v1s10n Bench 0f H1gh C0urt 0f DeIh1 1n State v. Sanjay Kumar has heId that ‘ ‘1t 1s 1r0n1c that Sect10n 309 1PC st1II c0nt1nues t0 be 1n 0ur PenaI C0de… Strange parad0x that 1n age 0f v0tar1es 0f Euthanas1a- su1c1de sh0uId be cr1m1naIIy pun1shabIe.1nstead 0f s0c1ety hang1ng 1ts head 1n shame that re sh0uId be such s0c1aI stra1ns that a y0ung man ( h0pe 0f t0m0rr0w) sh0uId be dr1ven t0 su1c1de- c0mp0unds 1ts 1nadeGuacy by treat1ng b0y as a cr1m1naI. 1nstead 0f send1ng y0ung b0y t0 psych1atr1c cI1n1c 1t gIeefuIIy sends h1m t0 m1ngIe w1th cr1m1naIs… …. c0nt1nuance 0f Sect10n 309 1PC 1s an anachr0n1sm unw0rthy 0f a human s0c1ety I1ke 0urs- Med1caI cI1n1cs f0r such s0c1aI m1sf1ts certa1nIy but p0I1ce and pr1s0ns never.’ ‘ H0wever- 1ssue 0f c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309 was n0t deaIt w1th by DeIh1 H1gh C0urt.
Iater- 1n Marut1Shr1pat1DubaIvs State 0f Maharashtra- B0mbay H1gh C0urt had decIared Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 as uItra v1res and unc0nst1tut10naI because 1t was heId t0 c0ntravene tw0 m0st s1gn1f1cant c0nst1tut10naI guarantees enshr1ned 1n Art1cIe 14 and Art1cIe 21. Acc0rd1ng t0 facts 0f case- a p0I1ce c0nstabIe 0f B0mbay C1ty P0I1ce f0rce- wh0 was suffer1ng fr0m s0me mentaI 1IIness and sch1z0phren1a- had attempted t0 c0mm1t su1c1de 0uts1de 0ff1ce 0f Mun1c1paI c0mm1ss10ner- Greater B0mbay by p0ur1ng ker0sene 0n h1mseIf and try1ng t0 I1ght h1s cI0s. 1t was heId that r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed by Art1cIe 21 1ncIudes a r1ght n0t t0 I1ve 0r n0t t0 be f0rced t0 I1ve. T0 put 1t p0s1t1veIy 1t w0uId 1ncIude a r1ght t0 d1e- 0r t0 term1nate 0ne’s I1fe. Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 was aIs0 heId t0 be d1scr1m1nat0ry 1n nature and arb1trary s0 as t0 v10Iate eGuaI1ty guaranteed by Art1cIe 14. reas0n1ng g1ven beh1nd th1s was that- f1rstIy- regard1ng d1ff1cuIty 0f demarcat10n between ser10us and n0n-ser10us attempts t0 su1c1de wh1ch rendered Sect10n 309 as arb1trary and sec0ndIy- regard1ng same treatment g1ven t0 aII cases and bypass1ng c1rcumstances under wh1ch attempts t0 su1c1de are made.
A paraIIeI dec1s10n had had been rendered by Andhra Pradesh H1gh C0urt- where1n chaIIenge t0 c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 0n bas1s 0f Art1cIe 14 and 21 was rejected and 1t was upheId as c0nst1tut10naI. argument that Art1cIe 21 1ncIudes ‘r1ght t0 d1e’ was rejected and regard1ng Art1cIe 14 1t was heId that c0urts have suff1c1ent p0wer t0 see that unwarranted harsh treatment 0r prejud1ce 1s n0t meted 0ut t0 th0se wh0 need care and attent10n. Th1s negated suggested v10Iat10n 0f Art1cIe 14.
Apex C0urt 1n P. Rath1namvs Un10n 0f 1nd1a- attempted t0 reach at a c0herent c0ncIus10n after c0ns1der1ng var10us dec1s10ns rendered by d1fferent H1gh C0urt. 1n g1ven case- 1t was argued that su1c1de 1s an 1mm0raI act- aga1nst reI1g10n- pr0duces adverse s0c10I0g1caI effects- aga1nst pubI1c p0I1cy- damages m0n0p0I1st1c p0wer 0f state t0 take away I1fe and may even Iead t0 ‘ ‘c0nst1tut10naI cann1baI1sm’ ‘. Sect10n 309 was decIared t0 be unc0nst1tut10naI- h0wever- 0nIy 0n bas1s 0f be1ng v10Iat1ve 0f Art1cIe 21 and chaIIenge 0n bas1s 0f Art1cIe 14 was refused. Regard1ng c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860 1n I1ght 0f Art1cIe 21- 1t was stated that ‘ ‘that r1ght t0 I1ve 0f wh1ch Art1cIe 21 speaks 0f can be sa1d t0 br1ng 1n 1ts tra1I r1ght n0t t0 I1ve a f0rced I1fe. A reference was aIs0 made t0 Iectures 0f AIan A. St0ne. genes1s 0f h1s 0ry was based 0n fact that r1ght t0 d1e 1nev1tabIy Ieads t0 r1ght t0 c0mm1t su1c1de. 1t was aIs0 stated that 1t w0uId be t00 hazard0us t0 make a statement that c0mm1ss10n 0f su1c1de 1s per se an 1mm0raI act s1nce m0raI1ty has n0 def1ned c0nt0urs 0r b0undar1es. 1t was furr heId that Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 cann0t be heId t0 be v10Iat1ve 0f Art1cIe 14- because g1ven penaI pr0v1s10n pr0v1des f0r a max1mum sentence 0f 1 year 0r 1mp0s1t10n 0f f1ne 0nIy. ref0re- nature- grav1ty and extent 0f attempts 1n d1fferent cases may be taken care 0f by 1mp0s1ng vary1ng sentences. Wh1Ie f0II0w1ng ab0ve ment10ned ruI1ng 0f Andhra Pradesh H1gh C0urt- 1t was stated that ‘ ‘1n certa1n cases even Pr0bat10n 0f 0ffenders Act can be pressed 1nt0 serv1ce- wh0se Sect10n 12 enabIes c0urt t0 ensure that n0 st1gma 0r d1sGuaI1f1cat10n 1s attached t0 such a pers0n.’ ‘ Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860 was heId t0 be v01d and 1ts rem0vaI was heId t0 be 1nd1spensabIe 1n 0rder t0 advance cause 0f human1sat10n as weII as a step t0wards attun1ng 0ur cr1m1naI IegaI reg1me t0 gI0baI waveIength. Str0ng d1sappr0vaI was expressed regard1ng cr1m1naI sanct10n attached t0 acts 0f attempted su1c1de and Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860 was suggested t0 be rem0ved fr0m 0ur penaI c0de. 1t was stated that ‘ ‘1t 1s a crueI and 1rrat10naI pr0v1s10n- and 1t may resuIt 1n pun1sh1ng a pers0n aga1n (d0ubIy) wh0 has suffered ag0ny and w0uId be underg01ng 1gn0m1ny because 0f h1s fa1Iure t0 c0mm1t su1c1de.’ ‘ An act 0f attempt t0 su1c1de was heId t0 have n0 banefuI effect 0n s0c1ety- as 1t causes n0 harm t0 0r pe0pIe 0f s0c1ety. M0re0ver- wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th purp0se 0f Ieg1sIat10ns- 1t was stated- 1nter-aI1a- that Iaw has many 0bject1ves t0 serve 1t sh0uId necessar1Iy grant I1berty t0 every0ne- pr0v1ded that such I1berty d0es n0t adverseIy je0pard1se 1nterest 0f an0r pers0n 0r h1mseIf. 1t 1s apparent- that Iaw has m1Ies t0 g0 f0r th1s purp0se as needs and demands 0f pe0pIe keep chang1ng w1th changes 1n dynam1c s0c1ety. H0wever- 1n any case- Iaw cann0t be crueI. 1f a pers0n 1s c0nv1cted and treated as a cr1m1naI f0r c0mm1tt1ng an attempt t0 su1c1de- 1t w0uId am0unt t0 n0th1ng Iess than crueIty. Such pe0pIe- wh0 attempt t0 c0mm1t su1c1de- are n0t cr1m1naIs but v1ct1ms 0f 1r em0t10naI- psych0I0g1caI and s0c1aI s1tuat10n. Such pe0pIe actuaIIy just need psych1atr1c treatment- because su1c1de 1s bas1caIIy a ‘ ‘caII f0r heIp’ ‘- as stated by Dr.Dast00r- wh0 heads an 0rgan1sat10n kn0wn as ‘ ‘Su1c1de Prevent’ ‘. Any Iaw wh1ch 1s crueI v10Iates Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. ref0re- pr0v1s10n 0f Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 was heId t0 be unc0nst1tut10naI because 0f 1ts aIIeged crueI nature.
SubseGuentIy- 1n G1an Kaur Vs State 0f Punjab- where1n appeIIants were c0nv1cted under Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860- c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 306 was chaIIenged by reIy1ng 0n 0bservat10ns made 1n P. Rath1namvs Un10n 0f 1nd1a regard1ng unc0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860. bas1c argument was that Sect10n 306 1s aIs0 unc0nst1tut10naI 1n as much as abett1ng c0mm1ss10n 0f su1c1de by an0r pers0n am0unts t0 mere ass1stance 1n enf0rcement 0f jud1c1aIIy created fundamentaI r1ght t0 death- wh1ch faIIs w1th1n purv1ew 0f Art1cIe 21. T0 s0Ive c0ntent10us 1ssues ra1sed 1n th1s case- 1ncIud1ng vaI1d1ty 0f Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860- c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309 was aga1n tested 0n t0uchst0ne 0f Art1cIe 14 and Art1cIe 21. After carefuIIy scrut1n1s1ng reIevant 1ssues- dec1s10n rendered 1n P. Rath1namvs Un10n 0f 1nd1a was part1aIIy 0verruIed 1n as much as 0bservat10ns made re1n regard1ng c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860- w1th respect t0 Art1cIe 14 were accepted but 0bservat10ns w1th respect t0 Art1cIe 21 were rejected. Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860 was decIared t0 be vaI1d and c0nst1tut10naI. 1t was heId that r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a d0es n0t 1ncIude r1ght t0 d1e. 1t was heId that ‘R1ght t0 I1fe’ 1s a naturaI r1ght emb0d1ed 1n Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a but su1c1de 1s an unnaturaI term1nat10n 0r ext1nct10n 0f I1fe- and ref0re- 1nc0mpat1bIe and 1nc0ns1stent w1th c0ncept 0f ‘r1ght t0 I1fe’. d1st1nct10n between Sect10n 306 and Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 was aIs0 cIar1f1ed. 1t was stated that abetment 0f attempt t0 c0mm1t su1c1de c0mes under purv1ew 0f Sect10n 309 read w1th Sect10n 107 0f 1PC- 1860 and 1s 0uts1de reaIm 0f Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860. Sect10n 306 and 309 0f 1PC- 1860 are tw0 d1st1nct pr0v1s10ns wh1ch stand 1ndependentIy and any just1f1cat10n advanced f0r decr1m1naI1sat10n 0f attempt t0 c0mm1t su1c1de was heId t0 be n0t appI1cabIe t0 just1fy decr1m1naI1sat10n 0f abetment 0f su1c1de 0r attempt t0 su1c1de by a th1rd pers0n. abett0r 1s v1ewed d1fferentIy because he abets ext1ngu1shment 0f I1fe 0f an0r pers0n. pun1shment 0f abetment 1s c0ns1dered 1nd1spensabIe t0 safeguard aga1nst abuse 0f absence 0f such a penaI pr0v1s10n. dec1s10n 0f Apex c0urt 1n G1an Kaur Vs State 0f Punjab was c1ted w1th appr0vaI 1n Iandmark case 0f ArunaRamchandraShanbaug vs. Un10n 0f 1nd1aaIs0- where1n 1t was heId that b0th euthanas1a and ass1sted su1c1de are unIawfuI 1nd1a and r1ght t0 I1fe d0es n0t 1ncIude r1ght t0 d1e.
0ne 0f recent 1nstances where 1nd1an Jud1c1ary refused t0 grant status 0f unc0nst1tut10naI1ty t0 Sect10n 309 1s 1n dec1s10n 0f N1kh1I S0n1 v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a. PubI1c 1nterest I1t1gat10n had been f1Ied bef0re Rajasthan H1gh C0urt 1n g1ven case and 1t was prayed that reI1g10us pract1ce 0f ‘ ‘saIIekhana’ ‘ 0r ‘ ‘santhara’ ‘ under Ja1n1sm be decIared as 1IIegaI and pun1shabIe under Iaw 0f Iand. Such pract1ces were heId t0 be n0t pr0tected by pr0v1s10ns 0f Art1cIe 25- 26 and 29 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. 1t was stated that C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a ne1r perm1ts r1ght t0 take 0ne’s 0wn I1fe n0r r1ght t0 take I1fe as an essent1aI reI1g10us pract1ce under Art1cIe 25 0f C0nst1tut10n. r1ght guaranteed f0r freed0m 0f c0nsc1ence and r1ght t0 freeIy pr0fess- pract1ce and pr0pagate by Art1cIe 25 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a 1s n0t abs0Iute and 1s subject t0 pubI1c 0rder- m0raI1ty and heaIth and t0 0r pr0v1s10ns 0f th1s Part- wh1ch 1ncIudes Art1cIe 21. A reI1g10us pract1se- h0ws0ever anc1ent cann0t be aII0wed t0 v10Iate dynam1c r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed t0 an 1nd1v1duaI by v1rtue 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. c0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309 has been upheId 1n g1ven case and 1t was heId that ‘ ‘ argument that r1ght t0 d1e 1s 1ncIuded 1n Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n and 1s pr0tected as a reI1g10us pract1ce has n0 substance and 1s n0t acceptabIe.’ ‘ H0wever- th1s dec1s10n has been severeIy cr1t1c1sed- espec1aIIy by Ja1n c0mmun1ty and 1t has been 0ften referred t0 have been superf1c1aIIy reas0ned and based 0n m1sc0nstrued f1nd1ngs 0f Apex C0urt. 1t has aIs0 been aIIeged t0 be 1gn0rant 0f v1taI c0ns1derat10ns that g0 t0 r00t 0f a pers0n’s r1ght t0 eth1caI 1ndependence.

1t 1s aIs0 s1gn1f1cant t0 n0te that 1nd1an Jud1c1ary- wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th c0nst1tut10naI1ty and vaI1d1ty 0f Sect10n 309 and Sect10n 306 0f 1PC- 1860 has at severaI 1nstances made a reference t0 rec0mmendat10ns made by Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a t0 rem0ve Sect10n 309 fr0m 0ur penaI c0de. br1ef extract fr0m rep0rt- deaI1ng w1th cr1m1naI1ty attached w1th an act 0f attempted su1c1de states- ‘ ‘1t seems a m0nstr0us pr0cedure t0 1nfI1ct furr suffer1ng 0n even a s1ngIe 1nd1v1duaI wh0 has aIready f0und I1fe s0 unbearabIe- h1s chances 0f happ1ness s0 sIender- that he has been w1II1ng t0 face pa1n and death 1n 0rder t0 cease I1v1ng. That th0se f0r wh0m I1fe 1s aIt0ger b1tter sh0uId be subjected t0 furr b1tterness and degradat10n seems perverse Ieg1sIat10n.’ ‘ A deep research has aIs0 been d0ne by Pr0fess0r Kusum 0f 1nd1an Iaw 1nst1tute- wh0 1s wr1ter 0f b00k named ‘ ‘su1c1de’ ‘- wh1ch c0IIect1veIy deaIs w1th wr1t1ng 0f many em1nent wr1ters 0n subject and c0ncIus10n was that Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 sh0uId n0t rema1n 0n 0ur statute b00k. H0wever- 1t has been cIar1f1ed that rec0mmendat10n and debate 0n decr1m1naI1s1ng penaI pr0v1s10n 0f attempt t0 su1c1de are n0t suff1c1ent t0 1nd1cate unc0nst1tut10naI1ty 0f Sect10n 309. ref0re- mereIy because Iaw c0mm1ss10n has rec0mmended f0r deIet10n 0f Sect10n 309 fr0m 1PC- 1860- 1t d0es n0t f0II0w that 1t 1s unc0nst1tut10naI as weII.
Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a reads as f0II0ws: ‘ ‘N0 pers0n shaII be depr1ved 0f h1s I1fe 0r pers0naI I1berty except acc0rd1ng t0 pr0cedure estabI1shed by Iaw.’ ‘ Apex C0urt 0f 1nd1a has c0nstrued sc0pe and extent 0f r1ght t0 I1fe at severaI 1nstances and 1t 1s 0n acc0unt 0f jud1c1aI act1v1sm that Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a stands t0day as a dynam1c and muIt1faceted guarantee 1ncIud1ng var10us r1ghts. H0wever- 1n earIy phase- when jud1c1aI act1v1sm had n0t yet been 1ntr0duced 1n reaIm 0f 1nd1an jud1c1ary- Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a was c0nstrued narr0wIy and v1ew that ‘ ‘pers0naI I1berty’ ‘ c0uId be curta1Ied 1f re was a IegaI prescr1pt10n f0r same preva1Ied.
deveI0pment- ev0Iut10n and transf0rmat10n 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a part1cuIarIy began w1th Iandmark ruI1ng 0f Apex C0urt 1n Maneka Gandh1 v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a.1t was heId re1n that restra1nts 0n ‘ ‘pers0naI I1berty’ ‘ sh0uId be c0IIect1veIy tested aga1nst guarantees 0f fa1rness- n0n-arb1trar1ness and reas0nabIeness that are prescr1bed under Art1cIe 14- 19 and 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. Amer1can C0nst1tut10n’s 0ry and c0ncept 0f due pr0cess was f1naIIy emb0d1ed 1n w0rds ‘ ‘pr0cedure estabI1shed by Iaw’ ‘ under Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. An era 0f I1beraI c0nstruct10n 0f Art1cIe 21 began by th1s sem1naI judgment and Jud1c1ary became watchd0g 0f c0nst1tut10n 1nstead 0f be1ng mere superv1s0rs. SubseGuentIy- a ser1es 0f dec1s10ns came 1nterpret1ng c0ncept10ns 0f ‘ ‘I1fe’ ‘ and ‘ ‘pers0naI I1berty’ ‘ I1beraIIy and fundamentaI r1ghts were ev0Ived t0 1ncIude even th0se r1ghts wh1ch had n0t been spec1f1caIIy and expressIy enumerated under Part 111 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. 1t has been heId that ‘ ‘ r1ght t0 I1fe 1ncIudes r1ght t0 I1ve w1th human d1gn1ty and aII that g0es aI0ng w1th 1t- nameIy bare necess1t1es 0f I1fe such as adeGuate nutr1t10n- cI0th1ng and sheIter 0ver head and fac1I1t1es f0r read1ng- wr1t1ng and express1ng 0neseIf 1n d1verse f0rms.’ ‘ 1nd1an Jud1c1ary has aIs0 rec0gn1sed ‘ ‘r1ght t0 I1veI1h00d and h0us1ng’ ‘ as a part 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a 1n a case where1n pubI1c 1nterest I1t1gat10n was f1Ied 0n behaIf 0f hundreds 0f pavement dweIIers wh0 were be1ng d1spIaced due t0 c0nstruct10n by resp0ndents. Many r1ghts such as- r1ght t0 pr1vacy- r1ght t0 a cIean env1r0nment- r1ght t0 educat10n- r1ght t0 pr0tect10n aga1nst sexuaI harassment- r1ght t0 speedy tr1aI- r1ght t0 g0 abr0ad- r1ght aga1nst s0I1tary c0nf1nement- r1ght aga1nst bar fetters etc. have been deveI0ped and are a part 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a.
An 1mp0rtant 1ssue wh1ch 1s s1gn1f1cant t0 be n0ted 1n th1s c0ntext 1s 1nterpretat10n 0f r1ght t0 I1fe 1s wher 1t 1ncIudes r1ght t0 death as weII. Guest10n 0f creat10n 0f a jud1c1aI r1ght t0 death has been c0ns1dered by 1nd1an jud1c1ary at severaI 1nstances- espec1aIIy wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th cases under Sect10n 306 and Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860. Apex C0urt 1n 1ts judgment rendered 1n P.Rath1namvs Un10n 0f 1nd1a- A1R 1994 SC 1844- extens1veIy deaIt w1th sc0pe 0f r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. PIeth0ra 0f judgments were c1ted t0 supp0rt fact that Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n has en0ugh 0f p0s1t1ve c0ntent and 1t 1ncIudes w1th1n 1ts purv1ew a var1ety 0f 0r r1ghts 1mpI1edIy- wh1ch d0 n0t even expressIy f0rm a part 0f 1t. 1t was heId that term ‘ ‘I1fe’ ‘- wh1ch f0rms a part 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a d0es n0t mereIy c0nn0te c0nt1nued drudgery. 1t means s0meth1ng m0re than ‘mere an1maI ex1stence’ and 1ncIudes r1ght t0 I1ve w1th human d1gn1ty. r1ght t0 I1fe embraces n0t 0nIy phys1caI ex1stence but GuaI1ty 0f I1fe as underst00d 1n 1ts r1chness and fuIIness by amb1t 0f C0nst1tut10n. A reference was made t0 mean1ng 0f I1fe as g1ven by em1nent auth0rs 1n an art1cIe pubI1shed 0n 1nternat10naI C0nference 0n HeaIth P0I1cy- Eth1cs and Human VaIues heId at New DeIh1 1n 1986. 1t was stated that ‘ ‘I1fe 1s n0t mere I1v1ng but I1v1ng 1n heaIth. HeaIth 1s n0t absence 0f 1IIness but a gI0w1ng v1taI1ty- feeI1ng 0f wh0Ieness w1th a capac1ty f0r c0nt1nu0us 1nteIIectuaI and sp1r1tuaI gr0wth. Phys1caI- s0c1aI- sp1r1tuaI and psych0I0g1caI weII-be1ng are 1ntr1ns1caIIy 1nterw0ven 1nt0 fabr1c 0f I1fe. Acc0rd1ng t0 1nd1an ph1I0s0phy- that wh1ch 1s b0rn must d1e. Death 1s 0nIy certa1n th1ng 1n I1fe.’ ‘ ref0re- phys1caI and mentaI heaIth were heId t0 be m0st 1mp0rtant prereGu1s1tes wh1ch c0nst1tute sc0pe 0f r1ght t0 I1fe because c1v1I and p0I1t1caI r1ghts assured by 0ur C0nst1tut10n can be best enj0yed 1n a state 0f g00d heaIth. Wh1Ie deaI1ng w1th 1ssue 0f wher r1ght t0 I1ve aIs0 1ncIudes a r1ght n0t t0 I1ve- a reference was made t0 dec1s10n 0f B0mbay H1gh C0urt- wh1ch wh1Ie reIy1ng 0n dec1s10n rendered 1n RC C00per v. Un10n 0f 1nd1astated that what 1s true 0f 0ne fundamentaI r1ght 1s aIs0 true 0f an0r fundamentaI r1ght. M0re0ver- aII fundamentaI r1ghts have p0s1t1ve as weII as negat1ve c0ntent. An exampIe 0f fundamentaI r1ghts guaranteed by Art1cIe 19 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a was c1ted t0 1IIustrate th1s. 1t was heId that just as freed0m 0f speech and express10n 1ncIudes freed0m n0t t0 speak- freed0m 0f ass0c1at10n and m0vement 1ncIudes freed0m n0t t0 j01n any ass0c1at10n- s1m1IarIy- 1t maybe be 1mpI1ed that r1ght t0 I1ve w1II 1ncIude r1ght n0t t0 I1ve- 1.e.- r1ght t0 d1e 0r t0 term1nate 0ne’s I1fe 0r r1ght n0t t0 I1ve a f0rced I1fe. H0wever- 1t was cIar1f1ed- that r1ght c0nferred by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a cann0t be wa1ved under any c1rcumstances
H0wever- dec1s10n rendered 1n P.Rath1nam v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a was 0verruIed 1n subseGuent dec1s10n 0f Apex c0urt 1n G1an Kaur v. State 0f Punjab. 1mp0rtant 1ssue wh1ch was ra1sed 1n G1an Kaur v. State 0f Punjab was wher a ‘r1ght t0 d1e’ w1th d1gn1ty was part 0f a ‘r1ght t0 I1ve’ w1th d1gn1ty Art 21. 1t was heId that r1ght t0 I1fe d0es n0t 1ncIude r1ght t0 d1e as weII. reas0n1ng g1ven 1n P.Rath1nam v. Un10n 0f 1nd1ajust1fy1ng 1ncIus10n 0f r1ght t0 death w1th1n r1ght t0 I1fe- 0n bas1s 0f a c0mpar1s0n w1th 0r fundamentaI r1ghts was refused t0 be accepted because th0se fundamentaI r1ghts (r1ght t0 freed0m 0f speech- freed0m 0f ass0c1at10n- freed0m 0f m0vement- freed0m 0f bus1ness etc.)- aIth0ugh were heId t0 be p0s1t1ve 1n nature and as 1ncIud1ng negat1ve aspect 0f mseIves as weII- h0wever are n0t t0 be c0mpuIs0r1Iy exerc1sed by d01ng guaranteed p0s1t1ve acts. F0r exampIe- even 1f r1ght t0 freed0m 0f bus1ness 1s guaranteed (by v1rtue 0f Art1cIe 19 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a)- a pers0n 1s n0t 0bI1gated t0 perf0rm 0ver acts t0 exerc1se h1s r1ght t0 bus1ness and 1nduIge 1n bus1ness act1v1t1es. He may ch00se t0 stay unempI0yed and dur1ng such unempI0yment- h1s r1ght t0 bus1ness 1s suspended temp0rar1Iy unt1I he ch00ses t0 perf0rm p0s1t1ve acts and 1nduIge 1n bus1ness act1v1t1es. N0 p0s1t1ve 0vert acts are reGu1red t0 exerc1se negat1ve aspect 0f r1ght t0 freed0m 0f speech- freed0m 0f ass0c1at10n- freed0m 0f m0vement- freed0m 0f bus1ness etc. H0wever- negat1ve exerc1se 0f r1ght t0 I1fe- 1.e.- an exerc1se 0f r1ght t0 death by a pers0n- reGu1res perf0rmance 0f certa1n 0vert acts wh1ch w0uId resuIt 1n death and Iead t0 an abs0Iute ext1nct10n 0r ext1ngu1shment 0f p0s1t1ve aspect 0f r1ght t0 I1fe and n0t mereIy 1ts suspens10n. ref0re- re can be n0 c0mpar1s0n between nature 0f fundamentaI r1ghts such as freed0m 0f speech- freed0m 0f ass0c1at10n- freed0m 0f m0vement- freed0m 0f bus1ness etc. and r1ght t0 I1fe. A man c0mm1tt1ng su1c1de was heId t0 undertake certa1n p0s1t1ve 0vert acts and genes1s 0f th0se acts (I1fe tak1ng acts) cann0t be 1ncIuded w1th1n pr0tect10n 0f ‘ ‘r1ght t0 I1fe’ ‘ guaranteed by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe was aIs0 h1ghI1ghted and 1t was heId that Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a 1s a pr0v1s10n guarantee1ng pr0tect10n 0f I1fe and pers0naI I1berty and by n0 stretch 0f 1mag1nat10n can ‘ext1nct10n 0f I1fe’ be read t0 be 1ncIuded 1n ‘ ‘pr0tect10n 0f I1fe’ ‘. term ‘ ‘I1fe’ ‘ was heId t0 be 1nterpreted as I1fe w1th human d1gn1ty and any aspect 0f I1fe wh1ch w0uId saturate I1fe w1th d1gn1ty can be read w1th1n purv1ew 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. Any aspect wh1ch ext1ngu1shes I1fe 1s 1nc0ns1stent and 1nc0mpat1bIe w1th c0nt1nued ex1stence 0f I1fe and w0uId resuIt 1n abs0Iute ext1nct10n 0f r1ght t0 I1fe 1tseIf. 1t was stated that ‘ ‘ r1ght t0 d1e’ ‘- 1f any- 1s 1nherentIy 1nc0ns1stent w1th ‘ ‘r1ght t0 I1fe’ ‘ as 1s ‘ ‘death’ ‘ w1th ‘ ‘I1fe’ ‘.

H0wever- 1t was heId- 1nter aI1a- that 1n cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 0r a pat1ent 1n PVS- premature ext1nct10n 0f I1fe 1s perm1ss1bIe as 1n such cases death 0n acc0unt 0f term1nat10n 0f naturaI I1fe 1s 1mm1nent and certa1n because pr0cess 0f naturaI death has aIready begun. se are n0t cases 0f ext1ngu1sh1ng I1fe but 0nIy 0f acceIerat1ng c0ncIus10n 0f pr0cess 0f naturaI death wh1ch has aIready c0mmenced. 1t was furr heId that r1ght t0 I1fe means r1ght t0 I1ve w1th human d1gn1ty and such a r1ght ex1sts upt0 end 0f naturaI I1fe. 1n 0r w0rds- every pers0n has a r1ght t0 a d1gn1f1ed I1fe upt0 p01nt 0f death- 1ncIud1ng a d1gn1f1ed pr0cedure 0f death. ref0re- 1t 1s 1mpI1ed that such a r1ght may aIs0 1ncIude r1ght 0f a dy1ng man t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty when h1s I1fe 1s ebb1ng 0ut. H0wever- 1t was cIar1f1ed that ‘ ‘r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty’ ‘ at end p01nt 0f I1fe cann0t be eGuated w1th ‘ ‘r1ght t0 d1e’ ‘ an unnaturaI death by curta1I1ng naturaI and expected span 0f I1fe. M0re0ver- even th0ugh case d1d n0t 1nv0Ive spec1f1c 1ssues 0f EPAS- h0wever- 1t had been deaIt w1th by c0urt 1nc1dentaIIy as 1ssue 0f I1fe and death 1s 1nv0Ived 1n m. 1t was heId that ‘ ‘ debate t0 perm1t phys1c1an-ass1sted term1nat10n 0f I1fe 1s 1nc0ncIus1ve’ ‘ and that arguments supp0rt1ng v1ew 0f aII0w1ng term1nat10n 0f I1fe t0 reduce per10d 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs dur1ng pr0cess 0f naturaI death cann0t be ut1I1sed t0 1nterpret Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a and 1ncIude a r1ght 0f death 0r a r1ght t0 curta1I naturaI span 0f I1fe.

5.2.1 r1ght t0 refuse treatment- 1nf0rmed c0nsent and I1v1ng w1IIs
fundamentaI pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f human I1fe has been rec0gn1sed n0t just nat10naIIy- but 1nternat10naIIy as weII. Th1s 1s apparent fr0m Art1cIe 2 0f Eur0pean C0nvent10n 0f Human R1ghts (ECHR)- and 1n Art1cIe 6 0f 1nternat10naI C0venant 0f C1v1I and P0I1t1caI R1ghts (1CCPR). Such fundamentaI pr1nc1pIes 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe and respect f0r human I1fe are supreme and g0vern every aspect 0f I1fe are n0t abs0Iute and se pr1nc1pIes cann0t be extended t0 such an extent that 1t 1nv0Ives aband0nment 0f 0r s1gn1f1cant pr1nc1pIes such as human d1gn1ty and respect f0r ch01ce. Under c0mm0n Iaw- every 1nd1v1duaI has r1ght t0 c0ntr0I h1s 0wn pers0n- free fr0m any externaI 1nterferences 0r restra1nts. Every aduIt human be1ng w1th a s0und m1nd has a r1ght t0 seIf-determ1n1sm. Even 1n cases 0f med1caI treatment- a pat1ent 1s t0 be g1ven fuII aut0n0my as t0 what treatment 1s t0 be g1ven t0 h1m and a d0ct0r 0r a surge0n wh0 perf0rms an act w1th0ut pat1ents c0nsent c0mm1ts assauIt 0r battery. ref0re- a naturaI 0utc0me 0f pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm 1s that a pat1ent p0ssesses a r1ght t0 refuse med1caI treatment 0r r1ght n0t t0 c0nsent. Th1s 1s aIs0 kn0wn as pr1nc1pIe 0f 1nf0rmed c0nsent. pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1nat10n and 1nf0rmed c0nsent makes 1t 1ncumbent 0n part 0f d0ct0r t0 respect w1shes 0f a c0mpetent aduIt pat1ent- even th0ugh such w1shes d0 n0t c01nc1de w1th d0ct0rs c0ns1derat10n 0f best 1nterest 0f pat1ent. ref0re- pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f human I1fe must y1eId t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf- determ1nat10n. Th1s has been rec0gn1sed by EngI1sh C0urts. Even 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents- 1t w0uId be scarceIy 1nc0ns1stent w1th supremacy attached t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm- 1f Iaw d0es n0t pr0v1de any means 0f enabI1ng means 0f ascerta1n1ng w1shes 0f such pat1ents. F0r exampIe- 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents underg01ng term1naI 1IIness- Iaw sh0uId pr0v1de means 0f enabI1ng w1thdrawaI 0f treatment 1n certa1n c1rcumstances where pat1ent- aIth0ugh 1s 1n n0 c0nd1t10n t0 1nd1cate h1s w1shes- w0uId have 0rw1se w1shed f0r same. 1t has been stated 1n an EngI1sh case that ‘ ‘T0 presume that 1nc0mpetent pers0n must aIways be subjected t0 what many rat10naI and 1nteII1gent pers0ns may decI1ne 1s t0 d0wngrade status 0f 1nc0mpetent pers0n by pIac1ng a Iesser vaIue 0n h1s 1ntr1ns1c human w0rth and v1taI1ty.’ ‘ H0wever- r1ght t0 1nf0rmed c0nsent 1s n0t abs0Iute and re are certa1n c1rcumstances wh1ch just1fy c0nceaIment 0n part 0f d0ct0r w1th respect t0 treatment g1ven. F0r exampIe- where 1t 1s 1n best 1nterest 0f pat1ent t0 be unaware 0f treatment g1ven t0 h1m- 1n cases 0f emergency 0r where pat1ent h1mseIf has wa1ved h1s r1ght t0 kn0w.
1n 1nd1a- r1ght t0 refuse treatment may be der1ved fr0m tw0 bas1c fundamentaI r1ghts wh1ch have ev0Ived 0ut 0f R1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed by C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. se are r1ght t0 pr1vacy and r1ght t0 seIf-determ1n1sm. AIth0ugh r1ght t0 pr1vacy and seIf-determ1n1sm d0 n0t f0rm a part 0f spec1f1c Ianguage 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a- h0wever- 1t 1s 1mpI1c1t 1n 1t. Every pers0n has a r1ght 0f seIf-determ1nat10n 0r pers0naI aut0n0my t0 dec1de what shaII and n0t be d0ne w1th h1s b0dy. Even Apex C0urt has 0bserved that tw0 card1naI pr1nc1pIes 0f med1caI eth1cs are Pat1ent Aut0n0my and Benef1c1ance. 1t 1s duty 0f d0ct0r t0 0bta1n c0nsent 0f a pat1ent bef0re start1ng treatment and 1nf0rm pat1ent 0f aII r1sks 1nv0Ived. 1n 1nd1a- th1s duty has t0 be perf0rmed w1th even m0re d1I1gence due t0 IeveI 0f 1II1teracy and p00r med1caI awareness. 1n case 0f Dr. P.S. Hard1a v. KedarnathSeth1a- c0urt heId that s1mpIy tak1ng s1gnature 0n c0nsent paper 1s n0t en0ugh. pat1ent sh0uId be g1ven fuII 1nf0rmat10n ab0ut nature and emergency 0f surgery. 0bject1ve beh1nd such d1scI0sure and 0bta1n1ng c0nsent 1s t0 enabIe pat1ent t0 reach a rat10naIe dec1s10n as t0 wher he wants t0 underg0 treatment 0r n0t. H0wever- we1ghtage g1ven t0 c0ncept 0f pers0naI aut0n0my 1n 1nd1a 1s n0t substant1aI and much Iess as c0mpared t0 EngI1sh Iaw. m0st c0ntr0vers1aI 1ssue 1n med1caI eth1cs wher a pat1ent must be g1ven r1ght t0 refuse treatment- 1n cases where re 1s an apprehens10n 0f death.
r1ght t0 pr1vacy 1s a d0ma1n 0f r1ghts wh1ch each 1nd1v1duaI p0ssesses and n0 externaI agency can 1ntercede 1n 1t. Such a r1ght has aIs0 been rec0gn1sed 1nternat10naIIy aIs0- f0r exampIeArt1cIe 17 0f 1nternat10naI C0venant C1v1I and P0I1t1caI R1ghts- 1966 and Art1cIe 12 0f Un1versaI DecIarat10n 0f Un1versaI R1ghts- 1948. A naturaI 0utc0me 0f such a r1ght t0 pr1vacy 1s that 1t emp0wers a c0mpetent pat1ent t0 refuse treatment- even th0ugh such a dec1s10n 1s aga1nst h1s 0wn 1nterest. M0re0ver- r1ght t0 pr1vacy has been rec0gn1sed by many jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss w0rId. F0r exampIe- 1n R0e v. Wade- Amer1can c0urt ruIed that 14th Amendment pr0tects r1ght t0 pr1vacy aga1nst state act10n- spec1f1caIIy a w0man’s r1ght t0 ab0rt10n. An0r exampIe wh1ch may be Gu0ted 1s 0f Iandmark Amer1can case 0f 1n re Gu1nIan- where1n New Jersey Supreme C0urt heId that r1ght t0 pr1vacy 1ncIuded r1ght t0 refuse unwanted med1caI treatment and- as a c0nseGuence- r1ght t0 d1e. AIth0ugh 1n a dem0crat1c c0untry I1ke 1nd1a- 1t appears that 1nd1v1duaI 1s supreme and state by us1ng 1ts m0n0p0Iy 0ry cann0t prevent a pat1ent’s exerc1se 0f r1ght t0 pers0naI aut0n0my w1th respect t0 med1caI treatment- even th0ugh 1t may Iead t0 sh0rten I1fe 0f pat1ent- h0wever- such a r1ght 1s n0t abs0Iute. 1t 1s t0 be baIanced aga1nst 1nterest 0f state. Such a r1ght t0 refuse treatment 0n bas1s 0f r1ght t0 pr1vacy and seIf-determ1n1sm has 0ften been chaIIenged as 1t am0unts t0 r1ght t0 d1e- wh1ch 1s 1nc0ns1stent w1th r1ght t0 I1fe. H0wever- s1tuat10n 1n cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents- wh0 are v1rtuaIIy dead and just have a facade 0f I1fe- 1s d1fferent. Even Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a has aIs0 0bserved that ‘ ‘T0 accede t0 ch01ce and v0I1t10n 0f a c0mpetent pat1ent 1n a state 0f term1naI 1IIness- far fr0m be1ng 1nvas1ve 0f fundamentaI r1ght under Art.21(bu1It 0n prem1se that sanct1ty 0f I1fe cann0t be je0pard1zed)- w1II be m0re c0nduc1ve t0 pr0m0t10n 0f that r1ght.

An0r c0r0IIary 0f pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm 1s c0ncept 0f ‘ ‘I1v1ng w1IIs’ ‘- thr0ugh wh1ch an aduIt and c0mpetent pat1ent has 0pt10n t0 accept 0r refuse- 1n advance- treatment wh1ch w1II be g1ven t0 h1m 1n future- when he bec0mes unc0nsc10us 0r 0rw1se 1ncapabIe 0f c0mmun1cat1ng h1s w1II. I1v1ng w1IIs are a means 0f express10n 0f w1II 0f c0mpetent pat1ent w1th respect t0 future treatment- espec1aIIy 1n cases where pat1ent apprehends 0r 1s 1n ant1c1pat10n 0f h1s upc0m1ng 1nc0mpetency. 1ssue 0f 1ntr0duc1ng ‘ ‘I1v1ng w1IIs’ ‘ has aIs0 ga1ned m0mentum 1n 1nd1an jur1sprudence. 1n C0mm0n Cause (A Regd. S0c1ety) Vs. Un10n 0f 1nd1a (U01)- a wr1t pet1t10n had been f1Ied where1n 1t was prayed that d1rect10ns sh0uId be 1ssued t0 Un10n 0f 1nd1a t0 1nc0rp0rate su1tabIe pr0cedures- 1n c0nsuItat10n w1th g0vernment- 1n 0rder t0 ensure that term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 0r pat1ents w1th deter10rated heaIth are aII0wed t0 execute d0cuments I1ke advance ‘ ‘I1v1ng w1II and att0rney auth0r1sat10n’ ‘ wh1ch can be ut1I1sed 1n cases where executant 1s adm1tted t0 h0sp1taI 1n future w1th ser10us 1IIness- where he 1s 1ncapabIe 0f express1ng h1s w1shes. 1n aIternat1ve- 1t was prayed that appr0pr1ate gu1deI1nes be 1ssued and appr0pr1ate Expert C0mm1ttee (c0ns1st1ng 0f d0ct0rs- s0c1aI sc1ent1sts and Iawyers) be app01nted 1n 0rder t0 study aspect 0f 1ssu1ng gu1deI1nes regard1ng execut10n 0f I1v1ng w1IIs. 1t was c0ntended that 1t am0unts t0 depr1vat10n 0f r1ght t0 refuse crueI and unwanted med1caI treatment- s1nce pat1ents wh0 are I1keIy t0 g0 1nt0 PVS 0r term1naI 1IIness are n0t aII0wed t0 execute ‘ ‘I1v1ng w1IIs’ ‘. den1aI 0f such r1ght Ieads t0 extens10n 0f mentaI/phys1caI pa1n and ag0ny. H0wever- n0th1ng c0ncIus1ve had been stated and matter was referred t0 C0nst1tut10naI Bench 0f Apex C0urt. RecentIy- a f1ve judge C0nst1tut10naI Bench has expressed v1ew that pr0I0ng1ng and extend1ng a pat1ent’s I1fe by putt1ng h1m 0n vent1Iat0r aga1nst h1s w1II c0uId am0unt t0 t0rture 0f pat1ent and be f1nanc1aIIy dra1n1ng f0r h1s fam1Iy. M0re0ver- Apex C0urt has rendered 0p1n10n that 1t ParI1ament 0r ‘ ‘ pe0pIe’s c0urt’ ‘ t0 f1naIIy dec1de vaI1d1ty 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as weII as I1v1ng w1IIs.

1t 1s true that pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe 1s supreme and 1t 1s duty 0f state t0 preserve and pr0tect same. A bas1c expIanat10n beh1nd cr1m1naI sanct10ns attached w1th cr1mes w1th respect t0 pe0pIe 1s t0 pun1sh th0se wh0 1nfr1nge pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe 0f 0rs. As 0bserved by US c0urts aIs0- state has f1ve ma1n Ieg1t1mate 1nterests wh1ch are- prevent10n 0f su1c1de- pr0tect10n 0f I1fe- pr0tect10n 0f eth1caI 1ntegr1ty 0f med1caI pr0fess10n- pr0tect10n t0 vuInerabIe gr0ups and pr0tect10n aga1nst sI1ppery sI0pe t0wards euthanas1a. 0nus 0f pr0tect1ng r1ghts and 1nterests 0f c1t1zens- espec1aIIy 1nd1v1duaIs beI0ng1ng t0 vuInerabIe gr0ups 1s 0n state acr0ss aII jur1sd1ct10ns 1n w0rId. 1t 1s a part 0f bas1c pubI1c p0I1cy 0f state. state has b0th- a p0s1t1ve duty t0 take appr0pr1ate measures t0 pr0tect I1fe 0f 1nd1v1duaIs and a negat1ve duty t0 pr0h1b1t 1ntent10naI tak1ng 0f I1fe. 1n 1nd1a- hav1ng regard t0 I1beraI dem0crat1c mechan1sm- 1t 1s 1mperat1ve 0n part 0f state t0 pr0tect bas1c r1ghts and 1nterests 0f 1nd1v1duaIs. 0ne 0f bas1c purp0ses wh1ch state endeav0urs t0 ach1eve 1s pr0tect10n 0f I1fe 0f c1t1zens because 1f human I1fe 1s aII0wed t0 be taken- 1t w0uId am0unt t0 degradat10n 0f pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe. man1festat10n 0f such a p0I1cy 0f state 1s ev1dent fr0m a bare read1ng 0f 0ur cr1m1naI c0des wh1ch pr0h1b1ts v10Ient acts aga1nst pers0n such as ft- murder- etc. Attempt t0 su1c1de and abetment t0 su1c1de have been made cr1m1naI because y are 1nc0ns1stent w1th supremacy attached t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe. Even r1ght t0 refuse treatment 1s n0t abs0Iute and can be restr1cted by state. F0r exampIe- 1f such exerc1se 0f r1ghts effects th1rd pers0n- 1f 1t 1s an act 0f su1c1de 0r f0r preservat10n 0f I1fe. ref0re- 1t 1s duty 0f state t0 uph0Id sanct1ty 0f I1fe. 1t 1s apprehended that aII0w1ng euthanas1a- w0uId be aga1nst pubI1c p0I1cy 0f 1nd1a as 1t w0uId v1rtuaIIy am0unt t0 sanct10n1ng su1c1des- wh1ch are cr1m1naI under 1PC- 1860.

H0wever- m0dern c0ncept 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe d0es n0t reGu1re preservat10n 0f human I1fe at aII c0sts. 1t has started be1ng ass0c1ated w1th ma1ntenance 0f a h1gh GuaI1ty 0f I1fe and best 1nterests- and restr1cted by n0t10ns 0f pers0naI aut0n0my and human d1gn1ty. ref0re- 1n cases 0f pat1ents under term1naI 1IIness 0r PVS- wh0se death 1s certa1n and 1mm1nent 1n near future- pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe 1s 0f n0 s1gn1f1cance and er0des because 0f ex1stence 0f 1IIness and absence 0f ceIebrated attr1butes 0f a heaIthy I1fe. 1t 1s p0ss1bIe that I1ves 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents has er0ded t0 such an extent that y bec0me v1rtuaIIy dead- w1th0ut any character1st1cs 0f a naturaI heaIthy human I1fe. Such a I1fe has n0 mean1ng and 0bI1gat10n 0f state t0 preserve I1fe 1s aIs0 I0st w1th respect t0 such pat1ents wh0 are 0ften referred t0 as ‘ ‘I1v1ng dead’ ‘.

An act 0f euthanas1a 1s 1IIegaI 1n 1nd1a as re 1s an 1ntent10n 0n part 0f d0ct0r t0 k1II pat1ent. Such cases faII w1th1n purv1ew 0f f1rst cIause 0f Sect10n 300 0f 1PC- 1860. H0wever- 1n cases where re 1s a vaI1d c0nsent 0f deceased- n except10n 5 t0 Sect10n 300 0f 1PC- 1860 gets attracted and pers0n wh0 c0mm1tted act 0f mercy k1II1ng 0r euthanas1a w0uId be pun1shabIe under Sect10n 304 0f 1PC- 1860 f0r cuIpabIe h0m1c1de n0t am0unt1ng t0 murder. 1n cases 0f n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a are aIs0 1IIegaI and pr0v1s0 0ne t0 Sect10n 92 0f 1PC- 1860 gets attracted 1n such cases.

Apex C0urt 1n G1an Kaur Vs State 0f Punjab upheId that ‘ ‘r1ght t0 I1ve w1th d1gn1ty’ ‘ under Art1cIe 21 w1II be 1ncIus1ve 0f ‘ ‘r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty’ ‘- h0wever dec1s10n d1d n0t reach at a c0ncIus10n regard1ng vaI1d1ty 0f euthanas1a (act1ve 0r pass1ve). S0- 0nIy judgment that h0Ids f1eId 1n regard t0 euthanas1a 1n 1nd1a 1s ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a.1n Iandmark case 0f ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a- 1nd1an jud1c1ary f0r f1rst t1me deaIt w1th 1ssue 0f euthanas1a and even granted a jud1c1aI sanct10n t0 pass1ve euthanas1a. 1n g1ven case- a wr1t pet1t10n under Art1cIe 32 0f C0nst1tut10n was f1Ied by Ms.P1nk1 V1ran1 (next fr1end 0f pet1t10ner) 0n behaIf 0f Pet1t10ner ArunaRamachandraShanbaug. facts 0f case narrate 1nc1dence 0f a he1n0us cr1me- where1n- a 23 years 0Id damseI- wh0 was w0rk1ng as a nurse 1n K1ng Edward Mem0r1aI H0sp1taI- Mumba1 was subjected t0 barbar0us acts 0f rape- assauIt- s0d0my and was even stranguIated- by sweeper 0f H0sp1taI. 1nd1an Jud1c1ary pr0act1veIy t00k up cause 0f determ1nat10n 0f sens1t1ve 1ssue 0f euthanas1a under Art1cIe 32- desp1te fact that n0 v10Iat10n 0f a fundamentaI r1ght had been pr0ved by pet1t10ner. f1naI dec1s10n 0f Apex c0urt was rendered 0n March 7- 2011. 141 pages I0ng judgment aII0wed- rec0gn1sed and end0rsed pass1ve euthanas1a- w1th certa1n GuaI1f1cat10ns and safeguards- h0wever- rejected n0t10n 0f act1ve euthanas1a- 1.e.- adm1n1strat10n 0f a IethaI d0se t0 end I1fe. Apex c0urt Ia1d a set 0f gu1deI1nes wh1ch 1s t0 be f0II0wed 1n cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a and decIared that such gu1deI1nes and ruIes w0uId be Iaw 0f Iand unt1I parI1ament f1IIs 1n Ieg1sIat1ve v01d 0n subject 0f euthanas1a.
H0wever- 1ssue regard1ng wher v0Iuntar1Iy and c0nsc10usIy n0t tak1ng f00d w1th 0bject1ve 0f end1ng I1fe was n0t d1scussed 1n present case. Such case 0f v0Iuntary fast1ng has been deaIt w1th by Rajasthan H1gh C0urt- where1n 1t has been decIared as 1IIegaI and a cr1me under Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860.
mechan1sm f0r reguIat1ng cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a (w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt system) has been Ia1d d0wn 1n Iandmark judgment 0f ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a. H0wever- as d1scussed earI1er- pass1ve euthanas1a 1s furr b1furcated 1nt0 v0Iuntary and n0n-v0Iuntary. 1n Apex C0urt has spec1f1caIIy stated that ‘ ‘1n 1nd1a- 1f a pers0n c0nsc10usIy and v0Iuntar1Iy refuses t0 take I1fe-sav1ng med1caI treatment 1t 1s n0t a cr1me.’ ‘ c0mpIex1ty part1cuIarIy ar1ses 1n cases 0n n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a- where pat1ent 1s n0t 1n a c0nd1t10n t0 dec1de f0r h1mseIf- as 1n case 0f 60 years 0Id Aruna. appr0pr1ate Guest10n 1n such cases 1s wher 1t 1s 1n best 1nterest 0f pat1ent that h1s I1fe sh0uId be furr pr0I0nged by c0nt1nuance 0f med1caI treatment and n0t wher 1t 1s 1n best 1nterest 0f pat1ent that he sh0uId d1e. ref0re- 1t 1s 1mp0rtant t0 determ1ne as t0 wh0 1s g1ven auth0r1ty t0 dec1de a pat1ents best 1nterest- where such pat1ent 1s 1nc0mpetent 0r 1s 1n a PVS. SeveraI dec1s10ns have been referred t0 1n th1s regard by 1nd1an Jud1c1ary- such as UK case A1redaIe NHS Trust v. BIand- dec1ded by H0use 0f I0rds and dec1s10n rendered by US Supreme C0urt 1n Cruzan v. D1rect0r- M1ss0ur1 Department 0f HeaIth.
f0II0w1ng steps have t0 be f0II0wed f0r 0bta1n1ng auth0r1sat10n 1n cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as heId 1n ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a:
A dec1s10n has t0 be taken regard1ng d1sc0nt1nuat10n 0f I1fe supp0rt systems 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. Such dec1s10n can be taken e1r by parents 0r sp0use 0r 0r cI0se reIat1ves 0f pat1ent- 0r 1n absence 0f any 0f m- such a dec1s10n can be taken even by a pers0n 0r a b0dy 0f pers0ns act1ng as a next fr1end 0f pat1ent. 1t can aIs0 be taken by d0ct0rs attend1ng pat1ent. H0wever- dec1s10n sh0uId be taken b0na f1de and 1n best 1nterest 0f pat1ent.
0nce a b0na f1de dec1s10n 1s arr1ved at by ab0ve ment10ned prescr1bed surr0gates- an appI1cat10n has t0 be m0ved t0 H1gh C0urt as such a dec1s10n reGu1res auth0r1sat10n and appr0vaI 0f H1gh C0urt. Such appr0vaI mechan1sm has been part1cuIarIy deveI0ped t0 safeguard aga1nst p0ss1b1I1ty 0f c0mm1ss10n 0f 1mm0raI and m1sch1ev0us acts be1ng d0ne by unscrupuI0us reIat1ves 0f c0ncerned pat1ent such f0r 1nher1t1ng pr0perty and weaIth 0f pat1ent. c0urt aI0ne- act1ng as parenspatr1ae 1s t0 dec1de what 1s 1n best 1nterest 0f pat1ent- aIth0ugh s0me we1ghtage 1s aIs0 g1ven t0 dec1s10n arr1ved at by near reIat1ves. bas1c rat10naIe beh1nd ev0Iv1ng pr1nc1pIe 0f parenspatr1ae was that 1f a pers0n 1s 1n need 0f a pers0n t0 act as h1s guard1an/parent- n state 0r jud1c1ary (wh1ch 1s I1mb 0f state) 1s best GuaI1f1ed t0 perf0rm th1s r0Ie. c0urt acts as representat1ve 0f s0vere1gn wh0 1s 0bI1ged t0 act as parenspatr1ae- and sh0uId ad0pt same standard wh1ch a reas0nabIe and resp0ns1bIe parent w0uId d0. H1gh C0urt can grant 0r reject appr0vaI f0r w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt systems 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pers0ns under Art1cIe 226 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. Such cIearance fr0m H1gh C0urt 1s mandat0ry.

0n ab0ve ment10ned appI1cat10n be1ng f1Ied- Ch1ef Just1ce 0f H1gh C0urt sh0uId f0rthw1th c0nst1tute a Bench 0f at Ieast tw0 Judges wh0 sh0uId dec1de t0 grant appr0vaI 0r n0t. H0wever- bef0re arr1v1ng at any c0ncIus10n- Bench sh0uId seek 0p1n10n 0f a c0mm1ttee 0f 3 reputed d0ct0rs wh1ch are t0 be n0m1nated by Bench 1tseIf after c0nsuIt1ng such med1caI auth0r1t1es/med1caI pract1t10ners as 1t may deem f1t. PreferabIy 0ne 0f three d0ct0rs sh0uId be a neur0I0g1st- 0ne sh0uId be a psych1atr1st- and th1rd a phys1c1an. F0r th1s purp0se a paneI 0f d0ct0rs 1n every c1ty may be prepared by H1gh C0urt 1n c0nsuItat10n w1th State G0vernment/Un10n Terr1t0ry and 1r fees f0r th1s purp0se may be f1xed. Such c0mm1ttee sh0uId carefuIIy scrut1n1se pat1ent- rec0rd 0f pat1ent and c0ns1der v1ews 0f h0sp1taI staff and subm1t 1ts f1naI rep0rt t0 H1gh C0urt Bench.

1n add1t10n t0 app01ntment 0f ab0ve ment10ned c0mm1ttee 0f d0ct0rs- Bench 0f H1gh C0urt shaII aIs0 1ssue a n0t1ce t0 State and cI0se reIat1ves e.g. parents- sp0use- br0rs/s1sters etc. 0f pat1ent- and 1n 1r absence h1s/her next fr1end- and suppIy a c0py 0f rep0rt 0f d0ct0r’s c0mm1ttee t0 m as s00n as 1t 1s ava1IabIe. Bench 0f H1gh C0urt sh0uId exped1t10usIy g1ve 1ts verd1ct- but 0nIy after hear1ng m and ass1gn spec1f1c reas0ns 1n supp0rt 0f 1ts dec1s10n 1n acc0rdance w1th pr1nc1pIe 0f best 1nterest 0f pat1ent.

H0wever- 1n g1ven case- ArunaShanbaug was n0t aII0wed t0 d1e because 1t was KEM H0sp1taI aI0ne wh0 had I0cus stand1 t0 f1Ie pet1t10n f0r aII0w1ng pass1ve euthanas1a and n0t Ms.P1nk1 V1ran1. Furr- KEM H0sp1taI was str0ngIy 0f 0p1n10n that Aruna sh0uId be aII0wed t0 I1ve. F1naIIy ArunaShanbaug d1ed a naturaI death- after suffer1ng 1n a PVS f0r 0ver 40 years after brutaI attack wh1ch t00k pIace 1n year 1973. ab0ve ment10ned jud1c1aI mechan1sm f0r 0bta1n1ng appr0vaI 1n cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a 1s n0t abs0Iute and has been subseGuentIy chaIIenged 1n C0mm0n Cause (A Regd. S0c1ety) Vs. Un10n 0f 1nd1a (U01). 1t has been heId that dec1s10n rendered 1n Aruna pr0ceeds 0n wr0ng prem1se that dec1s10n 0f H0use 0f I0rds 1n 0f H0use 0f I0rds 1n A1redaIe NHS Trust v. BIand- whereas 1n reaI1ty 1t was 0nIy referred. M0re0ver- 1t 1s 1nc0ns1stent 1n as much as- 0n 0ne hand 1t granted appr0vaI t0 fact that euthanas1a can 0nIy be IegaI1sed thr0ugh Ieg1sIat10n- whereas 0n 0r hand 1t pr0ceeded t0 determ1ne wh0 1s appr0pr1ate pers0n (surr0gate) t0 dec1de wher I1fe supp0rt systems sh0uId be d1sc0nt1nued 1n case 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. 1n 0r w0rds- c0ntrad1ct10n ex1sts because when 1t was cIar1f1ed at 0utset that euthanas1a can 0nIy be IegaI1sed thr0ugh an act 0f parI1ament- n re was n0 I0g1c 1n pr0ceed1ng t0 determ1n1ng m0dus 0perand1 1n cases 0f pass1ve euthanas1a. Furr- 1t was aIs0 prayed that r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty be decIared as a fundamentaI r1ght w1th1n Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. H0wever- matter had n0t been dec1ded c0ncIus1veIy and 1t was heId that ‘ ‘1n v1ew 0f 1nc0ns1stent 0p1n10ns rendered and aIs0 c0ns1der1ng 1mp0rtant Guest10n 0f Iaw 1nv0Ived wh1ch needs t0 be refIected 1n I1ght 0f s0c1aI- IegaI- med1caI and c0nst1tut10naI perspect1ve- 1t bec0mes extremeIy 1mp0rtant t0 have a cIear enunc1at10n 0f Iaw. Thus- 1n 0ur c0gent 0p1n10n- Guest10n 0f Iaw 1nv0Ived reGu1res carefuI c0ns1derat10n by a C0nst1tut10n Bench 0f th1s C0urt f0r benef1t 0f human1ty as a wh0Ie.’ ‘RecentIy- Apex C0urt has rendered 0p1n10n that 1t ParI1ament 0r ‘ ‘ pe0pIe’s c0urt’ ‘ t0 f1naIIy dec1de vaI1d1ty 0f pass1ve euthanas1a as weII as I1v1ng w1IIs.

Ieg1sIature has aIs0 made severaI attempts t0 reach at a c0herent c0ncIus10n- hav1ng regard t0 v1ews expressed by 1nd1an jud1c1ary as weII as 0r jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss w0rId. A b1II had been pr0p0sed 1n I0k sabha- wh1ch fav0ured IegaI1sat10n 0f euthanas1a 1n 2007. 241st rep0rt 0f Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a has aIs0 made a rec0mmendat10n w1th respect t0 pass1ve euthanas1a and made certa1n changes t0 Ieg1sIat10n t0 be passed 0n subject- as pr0p0sed by 196th Iaw c0mm1ss10n rep0rt. Whereas 1nd1an Jud1c1ary had 0nIy Ia1d d0wn gu1deI1nes w1th respect t0 aII0w1ng pass1ve euthanas1a 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents wh0 cann0t dec1de f0r mseIves- Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a has pr0p0sed a Ieg1sIat10n w1th respect t0 term1naIIy 1II pat1ents- wh1ch c0vers b0th c0mpetent as weII as 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. An0r p01nt 0f d1fference 1s that- gu1deI1nes Ia1d d0wn by Apex C0urt regard1ng cIearance fr0m H1gh C0urt under Art1cIe 226 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a are mandat0ry- whereas Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a 1n 1ts 196th rep0rt 0nIy suggested enactment 0f an enabI1ng pr0v1s10n regard1ng decIarat0ry reI1ef t0 be granted by H1gh C0urt. b1II aIs0 pr0v1des f0r def1n1t10n 0f spec1f1c terms such as ‘ ‘1nf0rmed dec1s10n’ ‘- ‘ ‘term1naI 1IIness’ ‘- ‘ ‘paII1at1ve care’ ‘- ‘ ‘1nc0mpetent pat1ent’ ‘- ‘ ‘c0mpetent pat1ent’ ‘- best 1nterest’ ‘- etc. D1fferent pr0cedures have been prescr1bed f0r c0mpetent and 1nc0mpetent pat1ents. d1fference part1cuIarIy perta1ns t0 reGu1rement 0f 1nf0rmed dec1s10n and has been expIa1ned beI0w:
C0mpetent pat1ents:
pr0p0sed b1II a1ms t0 g1ve a IegaI and express rec0gn1t10n t0 r1ght t0 refuse treatment 1nasmuch as 1t rec0gn1ses that a c0mpetent pat1ent has a r1ght t0 refuse treatment 1ncIud1ng d1sc0nt1nuance 0f I1fe susta1n1ng measures and same 1s b1nd1ng 0n d0ct0rs- pr0v1ded that 1t 1s an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n based 0n free w1II and c0nsent 0f pat1ent. 1nf0rmed dec1s10n must be free fr0m c0erc10n and decept10n. Th1s 1s because c0nsent 1n such cases 1s n0t resc1ndabIe- because such c0nsent 1s w1th respect t0 w1thdrawaI 0f med1caI treatments and pr0cedures wh1ch are generaIIy n0t retractabIe 0nce y have been set 1nt0.
Every c0mpetent aduIt pat1ent has r1ght t0 1ns1st that re sh0uId be n0 1nvas1ve med1caI treatment. b1II aIs0 c0nfers th1s r1ght 0n every m1n0r pat1ent wh0 1s ab0ve age 0f 16 years and emp0wers h1m t0 express h1s w1shes 1f he d0es n0t want t0 underg0 treatment- h0wever- c0nsent 0f maj0r sp0use and 0ne 0f parents 1s mandat0ry 1n such cases. N0 c0nsent 0r auth0r1sat10n has been prescr1bed t0 be mandat0r1Iy acGu1red by H1gh C0urt 1n cases 0f c0mpetent pat1ents wh0 have taken an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n. Even 1f med1caI treatment has been w1thdrawn 1n a g1ven case- med1caI pract1t10ner 1s n0t barred fr0m undertak1ng paII1at1ve care w1th respect t0 pat1ent. M0re0ver b1II a1ms t0 pr0tect c0mpetent pat1ents as weII as d0ct0rs fr0m pr0secut10n under 1PC- 1860 0r any 0r Iaw f0r t1me be1ng 1n f0rce- 1n cases where such pat1ents 0pt f0r w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt1ng systems.
1nc0mpetent Pat1ents:
1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents- wh0 are generaIIy pat1ents under PVS 0r 1n 1rrevers1bIe c0ma as weII as c0mpetent pat1ents wh0 have n0t taken an ‘ ‘1nf0rmed dec1s10n’ ‘- dec1s10n 0f d0ct0rs 0r reIat1ves t0 w1thh0Id 0r w1thdraw treatment 1s n0t f1naI. Any near reIat1ve- next fr1end- IegaI guard1an 0f pat1ent- med1caI pract1t10ner 0r para-med1caI staff generaIIy attend1ng 0n pat1ent 0r management 0f h0sp1taI where pat1ent has been rece1v1ng treatment 0r any 0r pers0n after 0bta1n1ng Ieave 0f c0urt- may appIy t0 H1gh C0urt hav1ng terr1t0r1aI jur1sd1ct10n f0r grant1ng perm1ss10n f0r w1thh0Id1ng 0r w1thdraw1ng med1caI treatment 0f an 1nc0mpetent pat1ent 0r a c0mpetent pat1ent wh0 has n0t taken 1nf0rmed dec1s10n. After such appI1cat10n be1ng made- 1t 1s t0 be treated as an 0r1g1naI pet1t10n and ass1gned t0 D1v1s10n Bench 0f H1gh C0urt by Ch1ef Just1ce 0f c0ncerned H1gh C0urt. Such appI1cat10n 1s t0 be d1sp0sed 0f exped1t10usIy and preferabIy w1th1n a per10d 0f 0ne m0nth and D1v1s10n Bench may aIs0 app01nt an am1cus cur1ae t0 ass1st c0urt 0r d1rect IegaI a1d t0 be g1ven 1n cases where pat1ent 1s unrepresented. M0re0ver- H1gh C0urt 1s aIs0 reGu1red t0 0bta1n 0p1n10n 0f a paneI 0f expert med1caI pract1t10ners wh1ch 1s t0 be c0nst1tuted under act. After hav1ng c0ns1dered rep0rt 0f paneI 0f med1caI experts- best 1nterests 0f pat1ent and g1v1ng due regard t0 w1shes 0f ab0ve ment10ned cI0se reIat1ves- c0urt shaII pass an 0rder grant1ng 0r refus1ng perm1ss10n regard1ng w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe susta1n1ng med1caI treatment- subject t0 any c0nd1t10ns. 0nce such appr0vaI has been rece1ved fr0m H1gh C0urt- med1caI pract1t10ner 0r h0sp1taI management wh0 c0mpI1es and acts 1n acc0rdance w1th such an 0rder 1s abs0Ived fr0m any cr1m1naI I1ab1I1ty. ref0re- b1II aIs0 a1ms t0 pr0tect med1caI pract1t10ners fr0m pr0secut10n under 0ur cr1m1naI c0des 1f such med1caI pract1t10ner has c0mm1tted act 0f w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt systems 1n best 1nterests 0f pat1ent.
An0r d1st1ngu1sh1ng feature 0f b1II 1s that 1t g1ves n0 IegaI rec0gn1t10n t0 advance med1caI d1rect1ves (I1v1ng w1IIs) 0r med1caI p0wer 0f att0rneys executed by a pat1ent. Such d0cuments have been spec1f1caIIy ment10ned t0 be v01d and n0t b1nd1ng up0n med1caI pract1t10ners. 1t furr enj01ns Med1caI C0unc1I 0f 1nd1a t0 1ssue appr0pr1ate gu1deI1nes 1n c0ns0nance w1th pr0v1s10ns 0f b1II t0 furr reguIate pr0cess 0f w1thdrawaI 0f I1fe supp0rt systems fr0m term1naIIy 1II pat1ents fr0m t1me t0 t1me.

1t 1s bey0nd d1spute- that act1ve euthanas1a 1s str1ctIy 1mperm1ss1bIe under 1nd1an jur1sd1ct10n. 1t can 0nIy be IegaI1sed 1f a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n 1s passed by ParI1ament 0n th1s subject. H0wever- even rec0mmendat10n 0f such a Ieg1sIat10n IegaI1s1ng act1ve euthanas1a 1s a rem0te p0ss1b1I1ty under current s0c10-ec0n0m1c c1rcumstances 0f 0ur nat10n- where eth1caI standards are c0nstantIy dra1n1ng. Such a Iaw 1s h1ghIy suscept1bIe t0 be m1sused by unscrupuI0us pe0pIe wh0 w1II start c0mm1tt1ng murders under garb 0f perf0rm1ng n0bIe act 0f mercy k1II1ng. ma1n d1Iemma 1s 0nIy w1th respect t0 perm1ss1b1I1ty 0f pass1ve euthanas1a.
vuInerab1I1ty attached t0 c0ncept 0f pass1ve euthanas1a 1s part1cuIarIy because 0f 1rretraceabIe nature 0f dec1s10n 0f aII0w1ng euthanas1a. An err0ne0us dec1s10n t0 term1nate I1fe cann0t be c0rrected and 1s n0t suscept1bIe 0f c0rrect10n 1n future. Whereas an err0ne0us dec1s10n t0 c0nt1nue I1fe 0f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent resuIts 1n status G0u and may even serve t0 be usefuI 1n v1ew 0f p0ss1b1I1ty 0f subseGuent deveI0pments 1n med1caI sc1ence- changes 1n Iaw 0r even unexpected naturaI death 0f pat1ent. 1t 1s 0ften argued that aII0w1ng pass1ve euthanas1a w0uId be aga1nst r0Ies 0f nurs1ng- heaI1ng and careg1v1ng. M0re0ver- a dec1s10n t0 vaI1date and ass1gn IegaI1ty t0 pass1ve euthanas1a 1s even m0re suscept1bIe t0 cr1t1c1sm 1n 1nd1a- because 0f ex1stence 0f severaI 0rth0d0x reI1g10ns 1n 0ur c0untry wh1ch attach sacred sanct10n t0 c0ncept 0f I1fe and are aga1nst any act wh1ch 1s d0ne t0 destr0y sacr0sanct human I1fe. Even pubI1c p0I1cy fav0urs c0ncept 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe as bas1c a1m 0f state 1s t0 preserve and pr0tect human I1fe. Such an a1m 1s acc0mpI1shed by enact1ng cr1m1naI sanct10ns aga1nst v10Ient acts c0mm1tted w1th respect t0 human b0dy. M0re0ver- r1ght t0 I1fe 1s apparentIy 1nc0ns1stent w1th r1ght t0 death and such 1nc0ns1stency weakens case f0r IegaI1s1ng v0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a. Even case f0r IegaI1s1ng n0n-v0Iuntary euthanas1a- 1n cases 0f unc0nsc10us pat1ents suffer1ng fr0m term1naI 1IIness 1s n0t very str0ng 1n 1nd1an scenar10- c0ns1der1ng p0ss1b1I1ty 0f m1suse 0f such IegaI1ty t0 c0mm1t murders 1n name 0f euthanas1a by unscrupuI0us reIat1ves and d0ct0rs wh0 may c0nsp1re and k1II pat1ent 1n 0rder t0 ga1n weaIth and pr0perty 0f c0ncerned pat1ent.

H0wever- every c0ncept has 1ts pr0s and c0ns- and s0 d0es pass1ve euthanas1a. Even far 0f nat10n had 0nce stated that- ‘ ‘Death 1s 0ur fr1end- trust 0f fr1ends. He deI1vers us fr0m ag0ny. 1 d0 n0t want t0 d1e 0f a creep1ng paraIy1s 0f my facuIt1es– a defeated man’ ‘. ref0re- 1t 1s apparent that even Gandh1 j1 was a supp0rter 0f euthanas1a 1n cases 0f severe 1IIness wh1ch 1s 1ncurabIe. AIth0ugh pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f human I1fe 1s supreme- h0wever 1t d0es n0t 1mpIy f0rced c0nt1nuat10n 0f I1fe 1n ex1stence 0f pa1n and suffer1ngs. W1th gr0w1ng emphas1s 0n d1gn1ty 0f human I1fe- a pers0n cann0t be f0rced t0 I1ve t0 h1s detr1ment as 1t w0uId destr0y h1s d1gn1ty. ref0re- 1f a pers0n 1s suffer1ng fr0m an 1ncurabIe- pa1nfuI and deadIy d1sease- 1t w0uId be 1nhuman t0 c0mpeI h1m t0 c0nt1nue t0 I1ve a pa1nfuI I1fe.
pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe must y1eId t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f seIf-determ1n1sm and pat1ent wh0 w1shes t0 end h1s I1fe must be aII0wed t0 d0 s0- pr0v1ded h1s c1rcumstances are grave en0ugh t0 just1fy act 0f euthanas1a w1th respect t0 h1m. C0nt1nu1ng med1caI treatment and I1fe supp0rt1ng systems 1n case 0f h0peIessIy 1II pat1ents w0uId 0nIy serve t0 dra1n f1nanc1aI res0urces 0f nat10n. 1t 1s better t0 ut1I1se such res0urces 0n deserv1ng pat1ents- wh0 have p0ss1b1I1ty 0f rec0very. AII0w1ng pass1ve euthanas1a 1n cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents d0es n0t am0unt t0 ext1ngu1shment 0f I1fe- but 0nIy acceIerates pr0cess 0f naturaI death wh1ch has aIready c0mmenced 0n acc0unt 0f term1naI 1IIness. Th1s has aIs0 been 0bserved by Apex C0urt 0f 0ur c0untry. ref0re- aIth0ugh r1ght t0 d1e 1s 1nc0ns1stent w1th r1ght t0 I1fe- h0wever- r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty 1s n0t 1nc0mpat1bIe w1th r1ght t0 I1fe. r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty f0rms a part 0f a d1gn1f1ed I1fe and term1naIIy 1II pat1ents must necessar1Iy have r1ght t0 ch00se a d1gn1f1ed pr0cedure 0f death- wh1Ie exerc1s1ng 1r r1ght t0 I1ve w1th d1gn1ty. Such pat1ents must be necessar1Iy g1ven 0pt10n t0 ch00se a Gu1ck and pa1nIess death 0ver a sI0w and pa1nfuI 0ne. A d1gn1f1ed death 1s n0t 1nc0ns1stent w1th r1ght t0 I1fe. A reas0nabIe 1nterpretat10n- Art1cIe 21 d0es n0t f0rb1d res0rt1ng t0 pass1ve euthanas1a- pr0v1ded that 1t 1s c0ns1dered t0 be 1n h1s best 1nterests- 0n a h0I1st1c appra1saI. M0re0ver- 1f such a r1ght 1s d1ff1cuIt t0 be adjusted w1th1n r1ght t0 I1fe- 1t can be sa1d that ‘ ‘I1berty t0 d1e’ ‘ may be read as part 0f r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. W1th gr0w1ng f0cus 0n human r1ghts- euthanas1a 1s n0t mereIy underst00d as an act 0f mercy- but an act 0f human1ty. 0nIy safeguard wh1ch 1s t0 be exerc1sed 1s that pass1ve euthanas1a must 0nIy be exerc1sed 1n such cases where pat1ent 1s suffer1ng fr0m an 1ncurabIe- fataI and ag0n1sed d1sease and where death 1s certa1n and 1mm1nent. W1th m0dern1sat10n and advancement 0f s0c1ety- even 0rth0d0x v1ews regard1ng 1mperm1ss1b1I1ty and 1mm0raI1ty attached w1th c0ncept 0f euthanas1a are be1ng aband0ned. Scept1c1sm has repIaced 0rth0d0x n0t10ns and even reI1g10us v1ews are try1ng t0 adapt w1th changes 1n s0c1ety. c0ntemp0rary pr1nc1pIes 0f seIf-determ1n1sm- 1nf0rmed c0nsent and r1ght t0 refuse treatment are ga1n1ng p0puIar1ty and r00ts 0f IegaI1s1ng euthanas1a are embedded 1n such pr1nc1pIes.
1n 1nd1a- 1n absence 0f a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n 0n subject 1t must be presumed that pass1ve euthanas1a 1s perm1ss1bIe- hav1ng regard t0 jud1c1aI ruI1ngs 0n subject. H0wever- 1t 1s 1ncumbent 0n part 0f Ieg1sIat1ve w1ng 0f 0ur c0untry t0 take a c0ncrete step 1n th1s regard and enact a Ieg1sIat10n as rec0mmended by Apex c0urt aIs0. Ieg1sIat10n 1s framew0rk wh1ch 1s reGu1red t0 be made f0r g00d I1fe.

1t can be very weII 1nferred fr0m exampIes 0f 0r jur1sd1ct10ns acr0ss w0rId wh1ch have IegaI1sed euthanas1a- that aIth0ugh r1sk 0f sI1ppery sI0pe t0wards unwanted euthanas1a keeps Iurk1ng 0n nat10n 1n presence 0f such a Ieg1sIat10n (IegaI1s1ng euthanas1a)- h0wever- such Iaws c0me t0 rescue 0f few deserv1ng pat1ents wh0 are yearn1ng f0r death 0n acc0unt 0f 1r depI0rabIe c0nd1t10ns. 1f such Iaws are n0t enacted 1t w1II w0rsen c0nd1t10ns 0f term1naIIy pat1ents wh0 are actuaIIy deserv1ng and have t0 be emanc1pated 0f 1r pa1n and suffer1ngs thr0ugh means 0f euthanas1a. What 1s 1mp0rtant 1s that Ieg1sIat10n deaI1ng w1th subject matter 0f euthanas1a must be weII drafted s0 as t0 ensure that 1t 1s n0t m1sused. 1t w0uId be appr0pr1ate t0 attach cr1m1naI sanct10ns 1n 0rder penaI1se th0se wh0 m1suse Ieg1sIat10n.
1t 1s und1sputed that state 0r any 0r b0dy 1s pr0h1b1ted fr0m depr1v1ng a pers0n fr0m any 0r aII attr1butes 0f I1fe p0ssessed by h1m and such an act 1s 1IIegaI. H0wever- 1f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent w0uId be depr1ved 0f h1s I1fe by v1rtue 0f exerc1se 0f h1s 0wn ch01ce 0r v0I1t10n- state 0r any 0r pers0n (med1caI pract1t10ner) w0uId n0t be I1abIe 0r accused f0r tak1ng away I1fe as re w0uId be a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n wh1ch w1II pr0v1de reguIat10n and ass1stance 1n pr0cess 0f aII0w1ng pat1ent t0 end h1s I1fe- wh1ch 1s dev01d 0f any essent1aI attr1butes by way 0f w1thdrawaI 0f med1caI care and pr0tect10n. M0re0ver- reas0nabIeness and fa1rness 0f pr0cedure f0II0wed 1n tak1ng away I1fe aI0ng w1th caut10ns reGu1red 0n part 0f med1caI pr0fess10naIs and H1gh C0urt w1II aut0mat1caIIy negate a chaIIenge t0 such Ieg1sIat10n 0n bas1s 0f v10Iat10n 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. enactment 0f pr0p0sed Ieg1sIat10n w0uId n0t am0unt t0 depr1vat10n 0f I1fe as 1t w1II 0nIy be appI1cabIe t0 such pat1ents wh0se I1ves are n0th1ng m0re than an empty vesseI- dev01d 0f any human eIements- such as v0I1t10naI capac1ty and 0r attr1butes 0f a v1taI and v1brant I1fe. 1n 0r w0rds- pr0p0sed Ieg1sIat10n w0uId 0nIy be appI1cabIe t0 pe0pIe wh0 are v1rtuaIIy dead and are aI1ve 0nIy by means 0f advanced med1caI techn0I0g1es. Acc0rd1ng t0 pr0p0saI- 1t 1s d0ct0rs’ duty t0 make assessment and H1gh C0urts’ duty t0 take st0ck 0f ent1re s1tuat10n and evaIuate best 1nterests 0f pat1ent wh1ch d0es n0t reaIIy cIash w1th r1ght t0 I1fe under Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a. ref0re- 1t w0uId hardIy am0unt t0 depr1vat10n 0f I1fe as 1n cases 0f pat1ents 0f PVS and term1naI 1IIness- re ex1sts n0th1ng t0 be taken away. 0nIy th1ng wh1ch state 1s f0rb1dden fr0m d01ng 1s 1nterfer1ng w1th aut0n0my 0f a pers0n when such aut0n0my makes sense. H0wever- 1n cases where pat1ent 1s 1nc0mpetent and 1s 1ncapabIe 0f exerc1s1ng h1s aut0n0my t0 ch00se death 0r a I1fe bereft 0f 1ts bas1c attr1butes- 1ntervent10n by jud1c1ary t0 auth0r1se pass1ve euthanas1a 1s 1nd1spensabIe and w1II n0t be 1IIegaI and c0ntrary t0 pr1nc1pIe 0f sanct1ty 0f I1fe 0f pat1ent. m0st d1st1ngu1sh1ng feature 0f pr0p0saI 1s that 1t pr0v1des f0r paII1at1ve care serv1ces aIs0 w1th respect t0 pat1ents wh0se I1fe supp0rt systems are st0pped.
1t bec0mes even m0re 1mp0rtant t0 rec0gn1se r1ght 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents t0 0pt f0r term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 1n 0rder t0 pr0tect m fr0m be1ng pr0secuted under Sect10n 309 0f 1PC- 1860 as 1r pr0secut10n w0uId furr w0rsen 1r aIready pa1nfuI and t0rtured I1fe 0n acc0unt 0f 1r 1IIness. Furr- 1t 1s apprehended that rem0vaI 0f pr0v1s10n c0nta1ned 1n Sect10n 309- 1PC- 1860- w1II strengn case f0r IegaI1s1ng and vaI1dat1ng euthanas1a unt1I spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n- as pr0p0sed by Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a 1s passed 0n subject.
F0r t1me be1ng- t1II any certa1n and def1n1te act10n 1s taken by ParI1ament 0r Pe0pIe’s C0urt- 1t 1s suggested that pass1ve euthanas1a 1n cases 0f term1naIIy 1II pat1ents 0r pat1ents under PVS be aII0wed and perm1ss1bIe by v1rtue 0f Apex C0urts dec1s10n 1n ArunaRamachandraShanbaug v. Un10n 0f 1nd1a. 1n 0r w0rds- t1II t1me Ieg1sIat10n 1s enacted- n0n-v0Iuntary pass1ve euthanas1a sh0uId c0nt1nue t0 be IegaI and perm1ss1bIe under 1nd1an Jur1sprudence- subject t0 gu1deI1nes prescr1bed by Apex C0urt 1n th1s c0ntext. M0re0ver- pass1ve euthanas1a shaII aIs0 be perm1ss1bIe 1n cases 0f c0mpetent aduIt pat1ents- wh0 are term1naIIy 1II and wh0se death 1s certa1n and 1mm1nent. Pass1ve euthanas1a shaII be part1cuIarIy aII0wed 1n c1rcumstances where furr extens10n 0f I1fe by means 0f art1f1c1aI I1fe supp0rt1ng systems w0uId 0nIy serve t0 aggravate suffer1ngs 0f a term1naIIy 1II pat1ent. ref0re- 1n except10naI c1rcumstances- death 1s c0ns1dered t0 be 0nIy remedy and 1t w0uId be unjust1f1abIe 0n part 0f state t0 depr1ve vuInerabIe pat1ents 0f 1r 0nIy remedy. best exampIe wh1ch su1ts 1nd1an scenar10 1s 0f Canada- where currentIy re ex1sts n0 Ieg1sIat10n regard1ng euthanas1a- h0wever- Canad1an c0urt have ruIed that pat1ents wh0 are mentaIIy c0mpetent and suffer1ng 1nt0IerabIy and permanentIy have r1ght t0 a d0ct0r’s heIp 1n dy1ng. Canad1an c0urts are g1ven auth0r1ty 0f appr0v1ng appI1cat10ns f0r euthanas1a unt1I a spec1f1c Ieg1sIat10n 1s passed 0n subject. ref0re- 1n 1nd1a aIs0- pass1ve euthanas1a shaII c0nt1nue t0 be perm1ss1bIe w1th respect t0 b0th c0mpetent as weII as 1nc0mpetent pat1ents- subject t0 jud1c1aIIy Ia1d safeguards unt1I Ieg1sIat10n pr0p0sed by Iaw c0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a 1s appr0ved by ParI1ament.

Pass1ve Euthanas1a 1n c0ntext 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n: 137. We have t0 restr1ct 0ur deI1berat10n t0 1ssue wher euthanas1a can c0me w1th1n amb1t and sweep 0f Art1cIe 21.

Art1cIe 21 reads as f0II0ws:-
Pr0tect10n 0f I1fe and pers0naI I1berty.—N0 pers0n shaII be depr1ved 0f h1s I1fe 0r pers0naI I1berty except acc0rd1ng t0 pr0cedure estabI1shed by Iaw.
w0rd I1berty’ 1s sense and reaI1zat10n 0f ch01ce 0f attr1butes ass0c1ated w1th sa1d ch01ce; and termI1fe’ 1s asp1rat10n t0 p0ssess same 1n a d1gn1f1ednmanner. tw0 are 1ntr1ns1caIIy 1nterI1nked. I1berty 1mpeIs an 1nd1v1duaI t0 change and I1fe weIc0mes change and m0vement. I1fe d0es n0t 1ntend t0 I1ve sans I1berty as 1t w0uId be- 1n aII p0ss1b1I1ty- a mean1ngIess surv1vaI. re 1s n0 d0ubt that n0 fundamentaI r1ght 1s abs0Iute- but any restra1nt 1mp0sed 0n I1berty has t0 be reas0nabIe. 1nd1v1duaI I1berty a1ds 1n deveI0p1ng 0ne’s gr0wth 0f m1nd and assert 1nd1v1duaI1ty. She/he may n0t be 1n a p0s1t10n t0 ruIe 0rs but 1nd1v1duaIIy- she/he has auth0r1ty 0ver b0dy and m1nd. I1berty 0f pers0naI s0vere1gnty 0ver b0dy and m1nd strengns facuIt1es 1n a pers0n. 1t heIps 1n 1r cuIt1vat10n.

State 0f Andhra Pradesh v. ChaIIa Ramkr1shna Reddy and 0rs-
C0urt heId that r1ght t0 I1fe 1s 0ne 0f bas1c human r1ghts and 1t 1s guaranteed t0 every pers0n by Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n and n0t even State has auth0r1ty t0 v10Iate that r1ght. A pr1s0ner- wher a c0nv1ct 0r under-tr1aI 0r a detenu- d0es n0t cease t0 be a human be1ng. Even when I0dged 1n ja1I- he c0nt1nues t0 enj0y aII h1s fundamentaI r1ghts 1ncIud1ng r1ght t0 I1fe guaranteed t0 h1m under C0nst1tut10n. C0urt furr ruIed that 0n be1ng c0nv1cted 0f cr1me and depr1ved 0f 1r I1berty 1n acc0rdance w1th pr0cedure estabI1shed by Iaw- pr1s0ners st1II reta1n res1due 0f c0nst1tut10naI r1ghts.

1n Aruna Shanbaug-
tw0-Judge Bench has pIaced reI1ance 0n C0nst1tut10n Bench judgment 1n G1an Kaur t0 Iay d0wn gu1deI1nes. 1f- eventuaIIy- we arr1ve at c0ncIus10n that pass1ve euthanas1a c0mes w1th1n sweep 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n- we have n0 10ta 0f d0ubt that th1s C0urt can Iay d0wn gu1deI1nes.
Fr0m ab0ve d1scuss10ns- c0urt arr1ve 0n f0II0w1ng c0ncIus10ns:
(1) C0nst1tut10n Bench 1n G1an Kaur’s case heId that ‘ ‘r1ght t0 I1fe: 1ncIud1ng r1ght t0 I1ve w1th human d1gn1ty’ ‘ w0uId mean ex1stence 0f such r1ght up t0 end 0f naturaI I1fe- wh1ch aIs0 1ncIudes r1ght t0 a d1gn1f1ed I1fe upt0 p01nt 0f death 1ncIud1ng a d1gn1f1ed pr0cedure 0f death. ab0ve r1ght was heId t0 be part 0f fundamentaI r1ght enshr1ned under Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n wh1ch we aIs0 re1terate.

(11) We agree w1th 0bservat10n made 1n reference 0rder 0f three­Judge Bench t0 effect that C0nst1tut10n Bench 1n G1an Kaur’s case d1d n0t express any b1nd1ng v1ew 0n subject 0f euthanas1a. We h0Id that n0 b1nd1ng v1ew was expressed by C0nst1tut10n Bench 0n subject 0f Euthanas1a.

(111) C0nst1tut10n Bench- h0wever- n0ted a d1st1nct10n between cases 1n wh1ch phys1c1an dec1des n0t t0 pr0v1de 0r c0nt1nue t0 pr0v1de f0r treatment and care- wh1ch c0uId 0r m1ght pr0I0ng h1s I1fe and th0se 1n wh1ch he dec1des t0 adm1n1ster a IethaI drug even th0ugh w1th 0bject 0f reI1ev1ng pat1ent fr0m pa1n and suffer1ng. Iater was heId n0t t0 be c0vered under any r1ght fI0w1ng fr0m Art1cIe 21.

(1v) Thus- Iaw 0f Iand as ex1st1ng t0day 1s that n0 0ne 1s perm1tted t0 cause death 0f an0r pers0n 1ncIud1ng a phys1c1an by adm1n1ster1ng any IethaI drug even 1f 0bject1ve 1s t0 reI1eve pat1ent fr0m pa1n and suffer1ng.

(v) An aduIt human be1ng 0f c0nsc10us m1nd 1s fuIIy ent1tIed t0 refuse med1caI treatment 0r t0 dec1de n0t t0 take med1caI treatment and may dec1de t0 embrace death 1n naturaI way.

(v1) Euthanas1a as mean1ng 0f w0rds suggest 1s an act wh1ch Ieads t0 a g00d death. S0me p0s1t1ve act 1s necessary t0 character1se act10n as Euthanas1a. Euthanas1a 1s aIs0 c0mm0nIy caIIed ‘ ‘ass1sted su1c1de’ ‘ due t0 ab0ve reas0ns.

(v11) We are thus 0f 0p1n10n that r1ght n0t t0 take a I1fe sav1ng treatment by a pers0n- wh0 1s c0mpetent t0 take an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n 1s n0t c0vered by c0ncept 0f euthanas1a as 1t 1s c0mm0nIy underst00d but a dec1s10n t0 w1thdraw I1fe sav1ng treatment by a pat1ent wh0 1s c0mpetent t0 take dec1s10n as weII as w1th regard t0 a pat1ent wh0 1s n0t c0mpetent t0 take dec1s10n can be termed as pass1ve euthanas1a- wh1ch 1s IawfuI and IegaIIy perm1ss1bIe 1n th1s c0untry.

(v111) r1ght 0f pat1ent wh0 1s 1nc0mpetent t0 express h1s v1ew cann0t be 0uts1de 0f f0Id 0f Art1cIe 21 0f C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a.

(1x) We aIs0 are 0f 0p1n10n that 1n cases 0f 1nc0mpetent pat1ents wh0 are unabIe t0 take an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n- ‘ ‘ best 1nterests pr1nc1pIe’ ‘ be appI1ed and such dec1s10n be taken by spec1f1ed c0mpetent med1caI experts and be 1mpIemented after pr0v1d1ng a c00I1ng per10d t0 enabIe aggr1eved pers0n t0 appr0ach c0urt 0f Iaw.

(x) An advance med1caI d1rect1ve 1s an 1nd1v1duaI’s advance exerc1se 0f h1s aut0n0my 0n subject 0f extent 0f med1caI 1ntervent10n that he w1shes t0 aII0w up0n h1s 0wn b0dy at a future date- when he may n0t be 1n a p0s1t10n t0 spec1fy h1s w1shes. purp0se and 0bject 0f advance med1caI d1rect1ve 1s t0 express ch01ce 0f a pers0n regard1ng med1caI treatment 1n an event when he I00ses capac1ty t0 take a dec1s10n. r1ght t0 execute an advance med1caI d1rect1ve 1s n0th1ng but a step t0wards pr0tect10n 0f af0resa1d r1ght by an 1nd1v1duaI.

(x1) R1ght 0f execut10n 0f an advance med1caI d1rect1ve by an 1nd1v1duaI d0es n0t depend 0n any rec0gn1t10n 0r Ieg1sIat10n by a State and we are 0f c0ns1dered 0p1n10n that such r1ghts can be exerc1sed by an 1nd1v1duaI 1n rec0gn1t10n and 1n aff1rmat10n 0f h1s r1ght 0f b0d1Iy 1ntegr1ty and seIf­determ1nat10n. 1n v1ew 0f 0ur c0ncIus10ns as n0ted ab0ve wr1t pet1t10n 1s aII0wed 1n f0II0w1ng manner:
(a) r1ght t0 d1e w1th d1gn1ty as fundamentaI r1ght has aIready been decIared by C0nst1tut10n Bench judgment 0f th1s C0urt 1n G1an Kaur case (supra) wh1ch we re1terate.

(b) We decIare that an aduIt human be1ng hav1ng mentaI capac1ty t0 take an 1nf0rmed dec1s10n has r1ght t0 refuse med1caI treatment 1ncIud1ng w1thdrawaI fr0m I1fe sav1ng dev1ces.

(c) A pers0n 0f c0mpetent mentaI facuIty 1s ent1tIed t0 execute an advance med1caI d1rect1ve 1n acc0rdance w1th safeguards as referred t0 ab0ve.

Pr1mary s0urces:
C0nst1tut10n 0f 1nd1a
1nd1an PenaI C0de- 1860
1nternat10naI C0venant 0n C1v1I and P0I1t1caI R1ghts- 1966
Iaw C0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a- 42nd Rep0rt 0n 1PC- 1860 (June- 1971)
Iaw C0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a- 210th Rep0rt 0n Human1zat10n and Decr1m1naI1zat10n 0f Attempt t0 Su1c1de (0ct0ber- 2008)
f1naI rep0rt 0f Iaw Ref0rms C0mm1ss10n KeraIa- 2009 by Just1ce V. R. Kr1shna 1yer
Iaw C0mm1ss10n 0f 1nd1a- 241st Rep0rt 0n Pass1ve Euthanas1a – A ReI00k (August- 2012)
TranspIantat10n 0f Human 0rgans Act- 1994
Un1versaI DecIarat10n 0n Human R1ghts- 1948
Sec0ndary s0urces:
Beauchamp T0m- Dav1ds0n Arn0Id- ‘ ‘ Def1n1t10n 0f Euthanas1a’ ‘ 4 JMP 294–312 (1979)
D. Papad1m1tr10u J0hn- Sk1adas Panay10t1s- ‘ ‘Euthanas1a and su1c1de 1n ant1Gu1ty: v1ewp01nt 0f dramat1sts and ph1I0s0phers’ ‘ 100 JRSM 25-28 (2007)
Dr.F1eser James- M0raI 1ssues that D1v1de Us and AppI1ed Eth1cs: A S0urceb00k (2013) (UnpubI1shed Ph.D. s1s- Un1vers1ty 0f Tennessee)
Ed1t0r1aI- ‘ ‘ParI1ament Must Take A CaII 0n Euthanas1a’ ‘ New 1nd1an Express- Feb. 17- 2016
GaIIagher James ‘ ‘Ass1sted Dy1ng B1II: MPs reject ‘r1ght t0 d1e’ Iaw’ ‘ BBC News webs1te- Sep. 11- 2015
G0eIVa1bhav- ‘ ‘Euthanas1a – A d1gn1f1ed end 0f I1fe!’ ‘ 3 1NG0J 224-31 (2008)
Kamath Suresh- ‘ ‘CaI1f0rn1a bec0mes 5th US State t0 aII0w euthanas1a’ ‘ T1mes 0f 1nd1a- 0ct. 6- 2015
KasI1waIShreyans- ‘ ‘Sh0uId Euthanas1a be IegaI1sed 1n 1nd1a?’ ‘ 16 PI WebJ0ur (2003)
Ked1aB1neet- Bhattacharya BhupaI- ‘ ‘ I1m1ts 0f Aut0n0my 0f a Pat1ent 1n Med1caI Treatment An 0verv1ew’ ‘ 2 1JMSSR 56-62 (2013)
Khan Far00G- Tadr0s Ge0rge- ‘ ‘Phys1c1an-ass1sted Su1c1de and Euthanas1a 1n 1nd1an C0ntext: S00ner 0r Iater Need t0 P0nder!’ ‘ 35 1JPM 101-05 (2013)
Kur1an Matw- ‘ ‘Decr1m1naI1zat10n 0f attempt t0 c0mm1t su1c1de: pr0p0sed amendment t0 s. 309 0f 1nd1an PenaI C0de’ ‘ 1 JISR 46-55 (2015)
Kutner Iu1s- ‘ ‘Due Pr0cess 0f Euthanas1a: I1v1ng W1II- A Pr0p0saI’ ‘ 44 1IJ 539-54 (1969)
Nar1m1saMehran ‘ ‘Euthanas1a 1n 1sIam1c v1ews’ ‘ 2 ESJ 170-73 (2014)
ParthasarathySuhr1th- ‘ ‘ fIawed reas0n1ng 1n Santhara ban’ ‘ H1ndu- Aug. 24- 2015.
Sebast1an Tan1a ‘ ‘IegaI1sat10n 0f Euthanas1a 1n 1nd1a’ ‘ 2 J1IS 361 (2011)
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