After too much of the brouhaha made by the terminally ill patients and their representatives about de criminalizing passive euthanasia, the Government after considering the status quo of suicide in section 307 of IPC thus supported the making of passive euthanasia legal. This came in like a wish come true for all the pleaders waiting anxiously to give out their last breath, than suffer terribly with a support system to keep their heart beating till they can take it no more. A man in bed is a man dead internally. He does nothing to except breathe ,that as well done artificially through electronic respirators, all the other actions are done by another man, therefore making it difficult to maintain privacy over his/her body. Viewing this situation of incapability of the patient a lot many people who were mostly close relatives filed numerous petitions for granting passive euthanasia. Sometimes the court did, and sometimes it didn’t. This caused a wide gap of inconvenience for all the petitioners, who were sometimes unable to maintain a terminally ill patients monetary wise. Taking this as well into the purview, the Government actively participated in the support team for passive euthanasia. It opposed the previous verdicts of the Supreme Court by questioning as to how a terminally ill patient can not have the choice to live or die, when the Government of India is allowing each and every person to venially take away their lives. The first and foremost case that created a ruckus and turmoil in judiciary as well as among the public is the popular case of Aruna Shaunbag. The critics challenged the legitimacy of providing passive euthanasia to the patients, whereas not for the others. The Supreme court replied only with the formation of a separate panel of recommended doctors appointed to survey the case and report to the court if passive euthanasia can be allowed or not. Seems like a viable job to do, but not many cases have received its status of approval by the Supreme Court, which used to always quash the case with a note dictating the importance of each and every life, regardless of it been active or bedridden. Passive euthanasia for such bed chained patients comes in like a boon in disguise hastening their death thus setting their souls free from their inactive bodies. By legalising passive euthanasia, we can deduce that India took one step forward in defining the much controversial Right to life article. This only happened after considering the 241st law commission’s report along with a private member bill, 2014. Now that the government has responded positively about the issue of passive euthanasia, there are many other pleaders waiting impatiently keeping their fingers crossed to hear satisfactory news from the Supreme Court as well. Judging by the gravity of the situation in India over the matter of euthanasia everybody optimistically hopes to receive positive news. In some countries both active and passive euthanasia is considered as suicide or sometimes culpable homicide. In a legally underdeveloped country like India, many of the diplomats and scholars observe the legitimisation of passive euthanasia as an advantage for young relatives and family members to inflict the helpless and dependant old aged with pain and suffering. The legalisation of passive euthanasia can revert the entire situation from the bona fide of the patient to the bona fide of the guardian. Not every guardian is heart fully willing to look after the defenceless patient.
Withdrawing of the life support for patients who have to stay in PVS (Permanent Vegetative State), where it would be easy to strip of the feeding tube and leave them by their self offering them palliatives to feel no pain while they are dying. This is what the present system on passive euthanasia in India works. The Supreme Court has interpolated international conditions when administering passive euthanasia to a patient. Unlike in India, Netherlands doesn’t allow passive euthanasia for partially or completely unconscious state of mind of a person. Although, in France, 2005, allowed doctors to decide whether or not to continue the treatment of a person if there is no result in his/her recovery.
As per the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in directing euthanasia passively, which was written after the fated death of Aruna Shaunbag who 42 years of unbearable and unspeakable pain has sparked off the inclusion of passive euthanasia? Since, it’s an issue novel to the present conditions and law in the country, the Supreme Court is not much confident in initiating the step. Halting the process of legalising passive euthanasia light huge controversies and spark protestations from the nook and corner of the country. We have already seen that happening. Passive euthanasia according to the author is a progressive step for the country, with stringent measures and insightful introspection upon the usage of this remedy should be regularly recorded and apprised about it to the respective council or concerned police officer appointed by the central government in handling such matters. All these strategies would as per the opinion of the author will reduce the percentage of illegal usage or misuse of the treatment, and will also help taking a record of all such activities which would make the procedure to move smoothly without any disorientation that may tamper the true documents.
The legalisation of passive euthanasia is not only a social objective but both a socio-legal aspect angling to a more expansive perspective of liberty and expression. The outcome as a whole is beneficial to the patient, and that is the only standpoint on which the SC has now permitted to use passive euthanasia after Virani’s petition. Death is not the end of life, that’s the belief we live in nowadays. Modern man like the ancient man holds a strong faith on life after death. Taking regard of this, the apex court, too wanting to at least offer the peace promised by afterlife held strong on the grounds of strong pleas coming from both sides of the society – the common man and the government.
The approval for passive euthanasia by the Supreme Court of India not only became a dying wish come true for other people impatiently waiting to relieve themselves from unwanted pain and torture, but a dying declaration from Aruna Shaunbag considered. The meaning of right to life has an extended viewpoint in meaning. Right to life is not only a physical living of a man, but also having a life with dignity.
Viewing this law from a [humanical /social/ intellectual] perspective pilots us to conclude that this law should be amended for the benefit of the man suffering from an incurable pain and torture. Also looking into the key aspects of misuse by miscreants, and taking them to book for not observing the authoritarian set up of consequences if violated. Recognising the origin of the direction of misuse is one of the main criteria’s for implementing an effective law for passive euthanasia which will be a benefactor to only the patients and not somebody else. It will not only prevent the wrongdoer, but also hinder the malady of unwillingness to serve the sufferer rather they die kind of attitude individuals.
It’s sad to hear the poor psychology of understanding of one’s pain by one’s own mind. Preference towards the all healthy, and indifference towards the opposite has harshly violated the right to live with dignity. The mind still struggles from the inside, even so the body never responds. Losing these fundamental values and ethical standards laid by the society itself , brought in a remarkable increase of these silent violence in the hospital dorms, which were presumably to be given intense care of the patient treated in there. The absence of balance of control in law and negative provisions for stringent regulation in it give no scope for a proper legislation that can be implemented in India. Euthanasia can be allowed freely in places where there is tight social security measures taken. If, it goes this way – every district gets an equivalent social security in every state ,and every state is been headed by another branch of social security officers supervised by the central level social security officers, then maybe, such heinous surreptitious crimes reduce to nullity.