Home > Archives > IJSRST151528 IJSRST-Library

Right to Life with Dignity also includes Right to Die with Dignity: - Time To Amend Article 21 of Indian Constitution and Law of Euthenesia

Authors(1) :-Pyali Chatterjee

Article 21 of Indian Constitution grants Right to life only. According to Article 21 says, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure establishedby law”. Right life under Article 21 does not include Right to die. Right to life is a natural right. The question regarding Right to die first time comes before Bombay High Court in State of Maharashtra v. Maruty Sripati Dubal, 1987 Cri LJ 743. And here in this case court declared that Right to Life includes Right to die, thus making Section 309 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 which makes attempt to suicide as punishable offence unconstitutional. But Supreme Court in Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (1996)2 SCC 648, held that Right to life does not include “Right to die” or “Right to be killed”. Right to life is a natural right and right to die is not a natural right and no one has a right to finish their life in unnatural way.  It was only after the case of Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug versus Union of India (2011) 4 SCC 454, Supreme Court in its judgment declared that Passive Euthanasia is legal in India.

Here my question is whether Right to life with dignity includes Right to life with dignity. If the answer is Yes then why a cancer patients who were already in their last stage has to suffer lots till their death. In such cases active euthanasia is the only option, getting relief from the pain of cancer. A person who is already bedridden and is dependent on other for each and everything in that case how can we say that he is living with his dignity?  In cancer ( last stage), most of the patients died in pathetic conditions, where neither they can bear the pain of the diseases nor their family can watch their loved one in such an intolerable pain for such a long time. In such cases death with dignity is last option for the family members as well as for the patients to finally get relived from the ultimate pain. There is a need of Active Euthanasia for such patients.

Lastly, judgment of Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug versus Union of India should be reviewed once again and medical committee should be formed to find out the cases where active euthanasia will be the ultimate option for the patients to die with dignity and without tolerant any pain.

Pyali Chatterjee
Euthanasia, Physician assisted Suicide, Mercy killing, Right to die, Cancer
  1. Pyali Chatterjee, “Thalaikoothal: The Practice of Euthanasia in the Name of Custom” European Researcher, 2014, Vol.(87), Is.2, pp. 2005-2012, DOI: 10.13187/er.2014.87.2005
  2. Law Commission of India, “ Passive Euthanasia- A Relook”, Report no- 241 http://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/report241.pdf
  3. Mamta Rao, Constitutional Law,  (Abhinandan Malik, 1st ed,2013)
  4. K.D.Gaur, Textbook On The Indian Penal Code,532 (Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt.Ltd,4th.ed., 2009)
  5. Euthanasia, THEFREEDICTIONARY, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Voluntary+euthanasia
  6. Euthanasia, MERRIAM- WEBSTER, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euthanasia
  7. Caesar  Roy, Position Of Euthanasia In India – An Analytical Study, ( Nov. 12, 2014, 11: 50 AM) http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:RL8KzYAapVYJ:www.researchgate.net/profile/Caesar_Roy/publication/259485727_POSITION_OF_EUTHANASIA_IN_INDIA_-_AN_ANALYTICAL_STUDY/links/0046352c2cac3a199d000000+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in&client=firefox-a
  8. What is passive euthanasia?, NDTV(March 07, 2011 15:20 IST), http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/what-is-passive-euthanasia-89964
  9. Euthanasia, OXFORD DICTIONARIES, ( Nov. 10, 2014, 12: 50 PM) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/euthanasia
  10. Rakesh Dubbudu, “Aruna Shanbaug – The Woman who triggered the Euthanasia Debate in India”, https://factly.in/aruna-shanbaug-euthanasia-case-woman-who-triggered-debate-on-euthanasia-in-india/#prettyPhoto
  11. Mollie Reilly, “Right To Die Becomes Law In California”, THE HUFFING TON POST, 6th October, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/right-to-die-california_560c6037e4b076812700b6d8?section=india
  12. Guardian staff,” Euthanasia and assisted suicide laws around the world”,  THE GURDIAN, 17th July 2014, 17.04 BST http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/17/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-laws-world
  13. “1,300 Die of Cancer Every Day in India”, NDTV, 17th May 2015, 09:51 IST
  14. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/1-300-die-of-cancer-every-day-in-india-763726
Publication Details
  Published in : Volume 1 | Issue 5 | November-December 2015
  Date of Publication : 2015-12-25
License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Page(s) : 119-123
Manuscript Number : IJSRST151528
Publisher : Technoscience Academy
PRINT ISSN : 2395-6011
ONLINE ISSN : 2395-602X
Cite This Article :
Pyali Chatterjee, "Right to Life with Dignity also includes Right to Die with Dignity: - Time To Amend Article 21 of Indian Constitution and Law of Euthenesia", International Journal of Scientific Research in Science and Technology(IJSRST), Print ISSN : 2395-6011, Online ISSN : 2395-602X, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp.119-123, November-December-2015.
Journal URL : http://ijsrst.com/IJSRST151528

Article Preview