Right To Die : While Euthanasia Is Commendable, Suicide Is Condemnable

By Ranjabati Ray

‘Life is an arena with one entry but loads of exits.’

Life being the most valuable and priceless gift, given by God, people have no right to end it themselves.

Despite all of this, circumstances become such which convince them to destroy it.  According to them, there arise certain situations and problems, where at times one feels that it would have been better, if he had never been born or were just dead.

Such people become the victims of time and circumstances which either they themselves have created or someone else has created it for them.

But they are unable to understand the fact that terminating their lives is not the answer or solution to their problems.

It is said that God is present in the soul of the human beings, then how can one think of terminating one’s life. Even in the Bible it is said that intentionally taking away one’s life hurts both the heart of God, and the persons who love the deceased person.

Death, according to Indian mythology and also under other mythologies is the final mission of every man to achieve “Moksha”. The requirement is that the death must be of a natural nature and not otherwise.

But the irony in context of suicide is that the law cannot punish the person who has committed suicide as he is no longer in the world but the law can definitely punish the person for the act of attempt to commit suicide or abetting to the same.

As life is incomplete without death, does right to live also include the right to die? The inclusion of right to die in Article 21 is contradictory to section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, as under this section attempt to suicide is made punishable.

Now coming up to Euthanasia!

Euthanasia

Have you ever heard about it? It is a Greek word and means mercy killing. By the gentle act of mercy killing the death is caused to a person who is terminally ill and whose continued existence might cause untold sufferings to the ill person, family and the society.

However, it is feared that mercy killing will open a flood gate of abuses. Can doctors be relied upon to be just and to honor their profession? How many of them abide by the Hippocratic oath in normal circumstances?

They may misuse their powers and knowledge in collusion with the relatives of the patient outsiders. Because, we all know that every law is subject to misuse.

Now if euthanasia is to be made legal, there have to be stringent safeguards to prevent the misuse. Those against mercy killing say that a doctor should not be invested with the power of providence. He should not play God.

Despite all of this, it is the wish of many to die a painless death.

Dying by inches lowers the dignity of a patient. The basic concept of good death means that a man should be able to exercise his free will to choose alternatives to die if life becomes unbearable and torturous.

Right to die is a broader aspect which covers within its ambit both euthanasia and suicide. The time has arrived where one should realize and mark the difference between the two words.’ While the former is commendable, the latter is condemnable.

The courts have not yet given open access to the people for exercise of such right. Judicial trends show that it is only in the rarest of rare cases when the person is allowed to access euthanasia, as one believes that it is better to die than to suffer.

And rightly so. Because, euthanasia is an act which not only relieves the sufferer from his mental and physical agony, but also provides relief to those around him from the pain that they have to experience by seeing his condition on a daily basis.

Suicide, on the other hand is traumatizing for the family and hence, although euthanasia should be allowed under right to die, suicide should be curbed from its ambit.


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