Euthanasia: Definition And History.
Understanding "Euthanasia":The Death can be defined as the termination of life. Death can be categorized
basically into two kinds ï¿½ (i) natural and (ii) unnatural death. The word
"euthanasia" derives from the Greek words "eu" (good) and "thanatos" (death).
The idea is that instead of condemning someone to a slow, painful, or
undignified death, euthanasia would allow the patient to experience a relatively
"good death." It is pertinent to note that, the definition of Euthanasia in
legal terms has been changing and is construed differently in different parts of
the world. Due to the wide scope and ambit of the way Euthanasia is used on a
person, its meaning changes.
The British House of Lords select committee on medical ethics defines euthanasia
as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a
life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands and Belgium,
euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a
patient". The Dutch law, however, does not use the term 'euthanasia' but
includes the concept under the broader definition of "assisted suicide and
termination of life on request".
Historical Origin And Evolution Of Euthanasia:The term euthanasia, in the earlier sense of supporting someone as they died,
was used for the first time by Francis Bacon. In his work, Euthanasia medica, he
chose this ancient Greek word and, in doing so, distinguished between euthanasia
interior, the preparation of the soul for death, and euthanasia exterior, which
was intended to make the end of life easier and painless, in exceptional
circumstances by shortening life. That the ancient meaning of an easy death came
to the fore again in the early modern period can be seen from its definition in
the 18th century Zedlers Universallexikon: Euthanasia: a very gentle and quiet
death, which happens without painful convulsions. The word comes from bene which
means well and mors which means death.
The concept of euthanasia in the sense of alleviating the process of death goes
back to the medical historian Karl Friedrich Heinrich Marx, who drew on Bacon's
philosophical ideas. According to Marx, a doctor had a moral duty to ease the
suffering of death through encouragement, support and mitigation using
medication. Such an "alleviation of death" reflected the contemporary zeitgeist,
but was brought into the medical canon of responsibility for the first time by
Marx. Marx also stressed the distinction of the theological care of the soul of
sick people from the physical care and medical treatment by doctors.
In the mid-1800s, the use of morphine to treat "the pains of death" emerged,
with John Warren recommending its use in 1848. A similar use of chloroform was
revealed by Joseph Bullar in 1866. However, in neither case was it recommended
that the use should be to hasten death. In 1870 Samuel Williams, a
schoolteacher, initiated the contemporary euthanasia debate through a speech
given at the Birmingham Speculative Club in England, which was subsequently
published in a one-off publication entitled Essays of the Birmingham Speculative
Club, the collected works of a number of members of an amateur philosophical
The first attempt to legalize euthanasia took place in the United States, when
Henry Hunt introduced legislation into the General Assembly of Ohio in 1906.
Hunt did so at the behest of Anna Sophina Hall, a wealthy heiress who was a
major figure in the euthanasia movement during the early 20th century in the
United States. Hall had watched her mother die after an extended battle with
liver cancer, and had dedicated herself to ensuring that others would not have
to endure the same suffering.
Hunt's bill called for the administration of an
anesthetic to bring about a patient's death, so long as the person is of lawful
age and sound mind, and was suffering from a fatal injury, an irrevocable
illness, or great physical pain. It also required that the case be heard by a
physician, required informed consent in front of three witnesses, and required
the attendance of three physicians who had to agree that the patient's recovery
was impossible. A motion to reject the bill outright was voted down, but the
bill failed to pass, 79 to 23.
The Voluntary Euthanasia Legalization Society was founded in 1935 by Charles
Killick Millard (now called Dignity in Dying). The movement campaigned for the
legalisation of euthanasia in Great Britain. In January 1936, King George V was
given a fatal dose of morphine and cocaine to hasten his death. At the time he
was suffering from cardio-respiratory failure, and the decision to end his life
was made by his physician, Lord Dawson.
As of 2023, euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands, NewZealand, Portugal (awaiting regulation), Spain and all six
states of Australia.
Classification Of Euthanasia:
In the modern era, the understanding of term Euthanasia is with regard to
the law and usage of Euthanasia in a particular country/ region. Therefore
there is no definite meaning associated to Euthanasia, without understanding
Following is the recognized classification of Euthanasia in different parts
of the world:
Active Euthanasia: Active euthanasia is also called ''aggressive' euthanasia. In this, the patient is put out of his misery by active means. This could include administering a lethal injection of a drug. It is a controversial method and contains many religious, moral, ethical, and compassionate considerations that are hotly debated.
Passive Euthanasia: Passive euthanasia is when a patient's life is ended indirectly by cutting off the life-sustaining treatments. It involves intentionally withholding the life support systems like the ventilator or the feeding tube.
Voluntary Euthanasia: Voluntary euthanasia takes place with the consent of the patient. This includes situations such as:
- Requesting aid is dying;
- Refusing intensive medical care;
- Request that medical treatment is halted or life support equipment be turned off;
- Refusing to eat or drink or fasting on purpose.
Involuntary Euthanasia: Involuntary euthanasia is administered without the patient's consent. It occurs when the person killed is capable of consenting to his or her own death, but does not do so, either because they are not asked, or because that person is asked and yet decides to go on living. This is blatantly done without consent of the patient.
Non-voluntary Euthanasia: Non-voluntary euthanasia occurs when the person is not in a position to make a meaningful choice between living and dying and an appropriate person takes the decision on their behalf. This is done without the consent of the patient, but his wishes to die are known. This covers situations in which:
- the person is in a coma;
- the person is too young (e.g. a newborn infant);
- the person is forgetful;
- the person is intellectually challenged - the person has severe brain damage.
Self-administered Euthanasia: Self-administered euthanasia is when the patient himself/herself administers the means of death.
Other-administered Euthanasia: Other-administered euthanasia is when a person other than the patient, like the doctor or a close family member administers the means of death.
Assisted Euthanasia: It is called assisted euthanasia when the patient himself/herself administers the means of death, but with the assistance of another person like the doctor.
Mercy Killing: Mercy killing is an umbrella term that includes active, involuntary, and other-administered euthanasia thus, it implies killing a patient without his/her explicit consent to end the pain and suffering, i.e. out of mercy.
Physician-assisted Euthanasia: Physician-assisted euthanasia is active, voluntary, and assisted euthanasia where a physician ends a patient's life with his/her consent by actively providing a means of death.
Debate On Right To Life And Right To Die In India- Legal Position.
Law On Euthanasia:The law in India is clear on the aspect of assisted suicide. Abetment of suicide
is an offence expressly punishable under Sections 305 and 306 of the IPC.
Moreover, attempt to suicide is also punishable offence under section 309 of
IPC. In cases of euthanasia or mercy killing there is an intention on the part
of the doctor to kill the patient, such cases would clearly fall under clause
first of Section 300 of the Penal Code, 1860. However, as in such cases
there is the valid consent of the deceased, Exception 5 to the said Section
would be attracted and the doctor or mercy killer would be punishable under
Section 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. But it is only
the cases of voluntary euthanasia (where the patient consents to death) that
would attract Exception 5 to Section 300. Cases of non-voluntary and involuntary
euthanasia would be struck by proviso one to Section 92 of the IPC and thus
be rendered illegal.
The Medical Council of India, in a meeting of its ethics committee in February
2008 in relation to euthanasia opined: Practicing euthanasia shall constitute
unethical conduct. However, on specific occasions, the question of withdrawing
supporting devices to sustain cardio-pulmonary function even after brain death
shall be decided only by a team of doctors and not merely by the treating
physician alone. A team of doctors shall declare withdrawal of support system.
Such team shall consist of the doctor in-charge of the patient, Chief Medical
Officer / Medical Officer in-charge of the hospital, and a doctor nominated by
the in-charge of the hospital from the hospital staff or in accordance with the
provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994.
Difference Between Suicide And Euthanasia:Between Suicide and Euthanasia, there is a conceptual divide. Suicide occurs
when a person kills himself intentionally by stabbing, poisoning, or other
means. Without a doubt, suicide is a deliberate effort to end one's life. It is
the act or occurrence of someone purposefully killing themselves, usually owing
to sadness or other factors such as dissatisfaction in love, failure in exams,
or difficulty finding a decent job. Euthanasia, on the other hand, is the action
of another person to terminate the life of a third person. A third party is
either actively or passively engaged in Euthanasia, meaning he assists or abets
the death of another person. It is also worth noting that there is a distinction
between 'assisted suicide' and 'euthanasia' in this situation. Assisted suicide
is when someone knowingly assists someone else in committing suicide, such as by
giving them the tools to do so. A 'physician-assisted suicide occurs when a
doctor assists a patient in killing himself (by prescribing fatal drugs). As a
result, since the patient is the one who commits suicide, the patient has
complete control over the process that leads to death. The other person only
assists (for example, providing the means for acting). Euthanasia, on the other
hand, maybe active, such as when a doctor administers a deadly injection to a
patient, or it may be passive, such as when a doctor removes the patient's life
Euthanasia and suicide are different, distinguishing euthanasia from suicide,
Lodha J. in Naresh Marotrao Sakhre v. Union of India, observed:
"Suicide by its very nature is an act of self-killing or self-destruction, an
act of terminating one's own act and without the aid or assistance of any other
human agency. Euthanasia or mercy killing on the other hand means and implies
the intervention of other human agency to end the life. Mercy killing thus is
not suicide and an attempt at mercy killing is not covered by the provisions of
Section 309. The two concepts are both factually and legally distinct.
Euthanasia or mercy killing is nothing but homicide whatever the circumstances
in which it is affected."
- A question as to whether the right to die is included in Article 21 or not
came up for consideration for the first time in Maruti Shripati Dubal v. State
of Maharashtra, in the Bombay High Court. The petitioner works for the
Bombay City Police Force as a police constable.
He has served as a policeman for
19 years as today. In 1981, he was involved in a car crash and also sustained
injuries on the head; losing sanity after this and remains so to some extent to
this day. He had been receiving psychiatric treatment since January 1982, and
his symptoms were characterized as "Giddiness Chabrat (fright), impaired sleep
and hunger, nervousness, disorientation, etc." in July 1982. In August of 1982,
he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Hallucinations plagued him. The
petitioner's first contention was that an attempt to commit suicide cannot
constitute an offence and section three hundred and nine makes it an offence so
it was violative of articles nineteen and twenty-one of the Constitution. The
second argument was that the section in question illogically treated all forms
of an attempt to one's life the same way and had the same punishment, not
thinking about the severity of the incident and what amount of damage was caused
to the body. The third and final argument was that an attempt at suicide should
not be considered an offence.
The Court, while striking down Section 309 IPC said that the right to life
includes the right to die. In this case, a mentally deranged Bombay Police
constable tried to set himself on fire in the corporation's office as he was
refused for a permission to set up a shop. The Court observed, "No deterrence is
further going to hold back those who want to die for a special or political
cause or to leave the world either because of the loss of interest in life or
- In P. Rathinam v. Union of India a Division Bench of the Supreme Court
also supported the High Court ruling striking down Section 309 as
unconstitutional on the grounds that it amounted to punishing the victim twice
- In 1996 in Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab The appellants Gian Kaur and her
husband Harbans Singh were found guilty by the Trial Court under Section three
hundred and six of the Penal Code, 1860 and each sentenced to six years of
rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 2,000 or in default, further R.I. for
nine months, for abetting the commission of suicide by Kulwant Kaur.
Above-mentioned both these rulings were overruled. A five-member Constitution
Bench held that the right to life does not include "the right to die" or "the
right to be killed".
The right to die is inherently inconsistent with the right
to life as is death with life. Delivering this verdict, the Court observed, "The
right to life is a natural right embodied in Article 21 of the Constitution but
suicide is an unnatural termination or extinction and incompatible and
inconsistent with the right to life."
- In the case of Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India, Aruna
Ramchandra Shanbaug, a staff nurse at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Parel,
Mumbai was attacked by a hospital sweeper on November 27 in the late afternoon.
She was pulled back with a dog chain that the sweeper had wrapped around her
neck. After realizing that she was menstruating, he attempted to rape her but
instead sodomized her.
A cleaner discovered her asleep on the floor on November
28, 1973, with blood all over her. The dog chain's restriction caused her
brain's oxygen supply to halt, causing harm. Her teeth have decayed, which is
painful, she can hardly swallow any liquid food so she is given mashed food, she
has stopped menstruating and her urine and excreta are discharged on the bed
itself, and she is completely unaware of her surroundings and is unable to
respond to stimuli, 36 years have passed since then, and she is still bedridden.
The petitioner requested to stop feeding Aruna and allow her to pass away gently
because she is no longer a living being and is in a Permanent Vegetative State
from which there is no recovery. The medical professionals believed that
euthanasia was not required at this time because Aruna was not experiencing a
terrible or wretched life.
The court held that, Aruna could breathe on own and did not require outside
assistance to do so, the main problem that compounded the situation was that she
cannot provide her agreement for such a significant move. This required careful
consideration and wisdom. The key concern was who can decide on the patient's
behalf because the goal was to decide in the patient's best interest.
it was also essential to consider the public interest and the state's interest
because adopting such laws may have unintended consequences, of which the misuse
of the law will be the most significant. Informed consent (assent where the
patient is aware of the repercussions of his treatment, such as his chances of
life, etc.) and the patient's right to privacy about his or her own body were
other issues that the Supreme Court addressed. The right to live with dignity
also encompasses the right to die with dignity, according to the court's
interpretation of the Gian Kaur case verdict.
Under this ruling, a permanently
vegetative person may be permitted to end his life prematurely, and doing so
would not constitute a crime. However, in this case, it was unclear who would
decide to stop providing life support. So, the right to choose between Aruna's
welfare and benefits lies with the hospital and not with Pinki Verani. However,
the court, permitted passive euthanasia for specific cases, subject to the
approval of the High court and the opinion of an expert medical counsel.
- In Common Cause v. Union of India, a writ petition was filed
by the appellant society praying for declaring 'right to die with dignity'
as a fundamental right within the fold of 'right to live with dignity'
guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and to issue direction to
the respondent, to adopt suitable procedures, in consultation with the State
Governments wherever necessary, to ensure that the persons with deteriorated
health or terminally ill should be able to execute a document viz. 'my
living will & attorney authorization' which can be presented to the hospital
for appropriate action in case of the executant being admitted to the hospital with serious
illness which may threaten termination of his life or in the alternative, issue
appropriate guidelines to this effect and to appoint an Expert Committee
consisting of doctors, social scientists and lawyers to study into the aspect of
issuing guidelines regarding execution of 'Living Wills'.
The Court referred the
matter to a Constitution Bench of the same Court be holding as under:
16. In the light of the above discussion, it is clear that although the
Constitution Bench in Gian Kaur upheld that the 'right to live with dignity'
under Article 21 will be inclusive of 'right to die with dignity', the decision
does not arrive at a conclusion for validity of euthanasia be it active or
passive. So, the only judgment that holds the field in regard to euthanasia in
India is Aruna Shanbaug, which upholds the validity of passive euthanasia and
lays down an elaborate procedure for executing the same on the wrong premise
that the Constitution Bench in Gian Kaur had upheld the same.
17. In view of the inconsistent opinions rendered in Aruna Shanbaug and also
considering the important question of law involved which needs to be reflected
in the light of social, legal, medical and constitutional perspective, it
becomes extremely important to have a clear enunciation of law. Thus, in our
cogent opinion, the question of law involved requires careful consideration by a
Constitution Bench of this Court for the benefit of humanity as a whole."
630. In view of our conclusions as noted above the writ petition is allowed in
the following manner:
- The right to die with dignity as fundamental right has already been declared by the Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in Gian Kaur case which we reiterate.
- We declare that an adult human being having mental capacity to take an informed decision has right to refuse medical treatment including withdrawal from life saving devices.
- A person of competent mental faculty is entitled to execute an advance medical directive in accordance with safeguards as referred to above.
Analysis Of Implementation Of The Dutch Act I.E. Termination Of Life On Request And Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, 2002.
Before Passing Of The Act:
Under the Penal Code of Netherlands, killing a person at his request is
punishable by imprisonment for a maximum of 12 years or by a fine and assisting
a person to commit suicide is also punishable by imprisonment up to 3 years or
fine. In spite of the clear wordings of the Code, the Courts of Netherlands have
come to interpret the law as providing a defense to charges of voluntary
euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The defense allowed is that of necessity. The
Dutch defense of necessity is of two types. The first is "psychological
compulsion" while the second is "emergency". The latter applies when the accused
chooses to break the law in order to promote a higher good. Both these types
came to be allowed by the Supreme Court of Netherlands.
The criteria laid down by the Courts to determine whether the defense of
necessity applies in a given case of euthanasia, have been summarized by Mrs.
Borst-Eilers as follows:
- The request for euthanasia must come only from the patient and must be entirely free and voluntary.
- The patient's request must be well considered, durable, and persistent.
- The patient must be experiencing intolerable (not necessarily physical) suffering, with no prospect of improvement.
- Euthanasia must be the last resort. Other alternatives to alleviate the patient's situation must be considered and found wanting.
- Euthanasia must be performed by a physician.
- The physician must consult with an independent physician colleague who has experience in this field.
After Passing Of The Act:
- Euthanasia and assisted suicide are governed in the Netherlands by the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, 2002, which came into force in 2002. While both the practices are offences under the Penal Code (Art. 293-294, Sr.), the Dutch Act creates an exception for physicians who comply with the due care and reporting requirements it prescribes.
- The Dutch Act does not differentiate between euthanasia and assisted suicide. "Euthanasia" is used as a compendious term that encompasses both practices. Much of the research concerning the Dutch regime uses the word euthanasia in this way. In order to describe Dutch law and practice accurately, in this section the word "euthanasia" is used as it is in the Netherlands ï¿½ as a term that includes both euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
- The Dutch Act is in part the codification of a permissive regime that had developed through a series of judicial decisions and professional guidelines issued over the preceding three decades.
- The Postma decision, concerned the case of a physician who had administered a lethal dose of morphine to her 78-year old mother who was deaf and partially paralyzed, and had pleaded with her daughter repeatedly to end her life. The doctor was convicted of "death on request" but was sentenced to one week of probation instead of a possible 12-year term of imprisonment. The decision provoked legal discussion regarding the acceptability of active physician involvement in death. Subsequent court decisions confirmed that, under certain circumstances, euthanasia and assisted suicide could be justifiable even though they were offences under criminal law.
- The underlying legal reasoning for accepting active physician involvement in death remained unclear until 1984 when the first voluntary euthanasia decision reached the Dutch Supreme Court: Schoonheim, The Court reasoned that notwithstanding the prohibition of the practice in the Penal Code, a physician was able to invoke the defence of necessity when confronted with a conflict between his or her duties to preserve life on the one hand and to relieve suffering on the other. If, faced with such conflict, the physician chose a course of action that was objectively justifiable, he or she was not guilty of an offence. The Court held that the criteria for accepting the defence of necessity were to be derived from medical-ethical opinions formulated by the medical profession.
- Unlike many jurisdictions which draw a moral or legal distinction between euthanasia and assisted suicide, the Netherlands treats both alike. "Euthanasia" refers to the termination of life upon request, thus encompassing both practices. Professor Legemaate explains that both the Dutch Act and the case law that preceded it treat euthanasia and assisted suicide the same way, and that the same requirements and procedures apply to each. A physician and patient may choose one or the other, depending on the circumstances at hand, the characteristics of the patient and his medical condition. In cases where a choice can be made, the Royal Dutch Medical Association advises physicians to favour assisted suicide for psychological reasons, but this is not a binding rule.
- Under Article 2 of the Dutch Act, a physician who carries out euthanasia is exempt from prosecution under the Penal Code if he or she complies with a number of due care criteria. Specifically, the physician must:
- be satisfied that the patient's request is voluntary and carefully considered;
- be satisfied that the patient's suffering was unbearable, and that there was no prospect of improvement;
- have informed the patient about his or her situation and prospects;
- have come to the conclusion, together with the patient, that there is no reasonable alternative in light of the patient's condition;
- have consulted at least one other independent physician who must have seen the patient and provided a written opinion on the requirements of due care referred to in (a) to (d) above; and
- have terminated the patient's life or assisted with suicide with due medical care and attention.
- The requirement for an independent consultation increasingly is being satisfied by consultations with specialized physicians participating in the SCEN (Support and Consultation Regarding Euthanasia in the Netherlands) Project. These physicians are available to advice doctors who are faced with a request for physician-assisted death, and to act as the independent consultant required by the Act. A non-binding best practices protocol has been implemented among SCEN physicians.
- Five regional RRCs review and evaluate all cases of physician-assisted dying. Each RRC comprises an uneven number of members and must include a physician, a legal expert and an ethicist. The RRC must decide whether the reported instance of physician-assisted dying is within the limits of the Dutch Act or should be referred to the criminal authorities. It is only where the RRC has determined that the due care requirements have not been met that such a referral will be made. According to Dr. Kimsma, the conclusions of the RRCs are published online in the interests of transparency and public accountability.
- The RRCs are required to issue a joint annual report which includes information related to number and nature of reported cases, and the opinions and considerations involved.
- The Dutch Act is limited to the termination of life upon a patient's request. It does not extend to termination of life without request. A physician is not obligated to comply with a request for euthanasia.
- Jurisprudence from Dutch courts remains relevant in defining the permissible scope of euthanasia. Two Supreme Court decisions of note are Chabot, and Brongersma. In the former, the Court confirmed that mental, as well as physical, suffering can justify physician-assisted dying. It cautioned, however, that in such cases, the physician must be "extremely cautious". In Brongersma, the Court held that neither the previous rules nor the Dutch Act (the death occurred in 1998 but the case did not reach the Supreme Court until 2002) cover "tired of life" situations. Rather, physicians must limit themselves to requests for physician-assisted dying from patients suffering from a medically classifiable physical or psychiatric sickness or disorder.
Comparative Position Of Legality Of Euthanasia And Right To Die In India And Netherlands.
Euthanasia in the Netherlands is regulated by the "Termination of Life on
Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act" which was passed in 2001
and took effect in 2002. It states that euthanasia and physician-assisted
suicide are not punishable if the attending physician acts in accordance with
criteria of due care.
These criteria concern the patient's request, the
patient's suffering (unbearable and hopeless), the information provided to the
patient, the absence of reasonable alternatives, consultation of another
physician and the applied method of ending life. To demonstrate their
compliance, the Act requires physicians to report euthanasia to a review
committee. It legalizes euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in very
specific cases, under very specific circumstances.
Whereas, Euthanasia in India is not regulated by any specific legislation. Since
March 2018, passive euthanasia is legal in India under strict guidelines.
Patients must consent through a living will, and must be either terminally ill
or in a vegetative state. On 9 March 2018 the Supreme Court of India legalized
passive euthanasia by means of the withdrawal of life support to patients in a
permanent vegetative state.
Therefore, more or less, the law with regard to Euthanasia in India and
Netherlands in strict and doesn't allow the usage to be done in any haphazard
manner. The strict guidelines given by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India will have
to be complied with, in India and the Termination of Life on Request and
Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act, 2002 will have to be followed in case
Suggestive Measures And Conclusion.
Death occurred by doing something or by not doing something of needy person
their advantage is called euthanasia. Euthanasia likewise called mercy killing
is a means of painlessly ending the lives of those who are either suffering from
an incurable illness or remain in enormous discomfort. This type of assisted
suicide is performed with the 'human' intention of alleviating one's discomfort
as well as suffering. Often people state in their Wills, that if they ever enter
such a scenario where it appears helpless or to much to bear, that the family
members needs to allow him/her to die.
Following are certain suggestions that must be taken into consideration with
regard to legality of Euthanasia:
- While drafting legislation on euthanasia in India, the best features of all euthanasia legislation available in the world should be taken into consideration. The shortcomings and loopholes should be defeated in order to draft a classic piece of legislation.
- Need to amend the Constitution of India and insert Art 21 B in Part III of the constitution Right to die with dignity for terminally ill patients.
- Law allows abortion under certain conditions, likewise death with dignity should also be allowed for terminally ill patients.
- Artificial life support systems and other life prolonging treatments should not be used to prolong death of terminally ill patients against their wish. Instead, such medical resources should be used to improve the health condition of the patients who have chances of recovery.
- Quality of life should also be maintained not only in the clinical decisions but also in the legal perspective.
- Life should be protected, but the protection should not result as a forced burden for terminally ill patients. In exceptional situations terminally ill patient should be allowed to die with dignity.
- Right to self-determination allows the patient to refuse medical treatment, but it should be extended to allow terminally ill patients to die through physician's assistance if needed.
Active euthanasia is still offence but passive euthanasia is permissible in
India. Now Right to Die with Dignity is a Fundamental Right. Hence legalizing
euthanasia in certain circumstances when death is caused by turning off the life
support system, withdrawing life supporting devices from a terminally ill
patient, who are going through intolerable agony which cannot be cured or
enhanced, the passive euthanasia is permissible. Therefore hypothesis is proved
that legalizing euthanasia is dignified liberty.
- School of Medicine, University of Missouri "Euthanasia", available at https://medicine.missouri.edu/centers-institutes-labs/health-ethics/faq/euthanasia (last visited on 10/05/2023)
- Capt. N M Harris, "The Euthanasia Debate", J R Army Med Corps 2001: 147: 367-370, available at https://militaryhealth.bmj.com/content/jramc/147/3/367.full.pdf (last visited on 10/05/2023)
- Carr, Claudia, "Unlocking Medical Law and Ethics", 2014 2nd Edn. (ISBN 9781317743514)
- Zedlers Universallexikon, Vol. 08, p. 1150, published 1732ï¿½54
- Markwart Michler, "Marx, Karl, Mediziner", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), (1990) vol. 16, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 327ï¿½328, available at: https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/ppn116814357.html (last visited on 21/05/2023)
- Appel Jacob, "A Duty to Kill? A Duty to Die? Rethinking the Euthanasia Controversy of 1906", Bulletin of the History of Medicine,78 (Vol.3):Pp 610ï¿½34.
- Supra Note 15
- Neha Dahiya, "All you need to know about Euthanasia", April 2022, available at https://blog.ipleaders.in/all-you-need-to-know-about-euthanasia/#Active_and_passive_euthanasia (last visited on 21/05/2023)
- 305: Abetment of suicide of child or insane person.
- 306: Abetment of suicide.
- 309: Attempt to commit suicide.
- 300: Murder.
- 304: Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
- 92: Act done in good faith for benefit of a person without consent.
- Vinod K. Sinha, S. Basu, and S. Sarkhel, "Euthanasia: An Indian perspective, Indian J Psychiatry, 2012 Apr-Jun; 54(2): 177ï¿½183"
- Himanshu Tripathi and Zuna Parween, "Euthanasia", JCLJ (2022) 531
- 1995 Cri LJ 96 (Bom)
- 1987 Cri LJ 743 (Bom)
- (1994) 3 SCC 394
- (1996) 2 SCC 648
- (2011) 4 SCC 454
- (2018) 5 SCC 1
- Jo Thomas, "Dutch Courts act on Right to Die", published in The NewYork Times, Nov. 28, 1984, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/28/world/dutch-court-acts-on-right-to-die.html
- Quoted in John Keown, "The Law and Practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands", (1992) 108 LQR 51, at p. 56
- Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2012 BCSC 886 (CanLl)
- (District Court, Leeuwarden, 21 February 1973, N.J. 1973, No. 183)
- Supreme Court, 27 November 1984, N.J. 1985, No. 106
- Supreme Court, 21 June 1994, N.J. 1994, No. 656
- 24 December 2002, Supreme Court, N.J. 2003, No. 167