Hypotheses:  Right to life doesnot include right to die.  The right to die is enforceable by Law  The right to life (article 21) involves the right to die  There is a constitutional validity of right to die INTRODUCTION The right to die is an ethical or institutional entitlement of any individual to commit suicide or to undergo voluntary euthanasia. Possession of this right is often understood to mean that a person with a terminal illness should be allowed to commit suicide or assisted suic
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  1 Hypotheses:    Right to life doesnot include right to die.    The right to die is enforceable by Law    The right to life (article 21) involves the right to die    There is a constitutional validity of right to die INTRODUCTION The right to die is an ethical or  institutional entitlement of any individual to commit suicide or to undergo voluntary euthanasia. Possession of this right is often understood to mean that a person with a terminal illness should be allowed to commit suicide or  assisted suicide or to decline life-prolonging treatment, where a disease would otherwise prolong their suffering to an identical result. The question of who, if anyone, should be empowered to make these decisions is often central to debate 1 . Proponents typically associate the right to die with the idea that one's body and one's life are one's own, to dispose of as one sees fit. However, a legitimate state interest in preventing irrational suicides is sometimes argued. Pilpel and Amsel write, Contemporary proponents of ‗rational suicide‘ or the ‗right to die‘ usually demand by ‗rationality‘ that the decision to kill oneself be both the autonomous choice of the agent (i.e., not due to the physician or the family  pressuring them to ‗do the right thing‘ and commit suicide) and a ‗best option under the circumstances‘ choice desired by the stoics  or   utilitarian‘s , as well as other natural conditions such as the choice being stable, not an impulsive decision, not due to mental illness, achieved after due deliberation, etc. Hinduism accepts the right to die for those who are tormented by terminal diseases or those who have no desire, ambition or no responsibilities remaining; and allows death through the non-violent practice of fasting to the point of starvation (Prayopavesa). Jainism has a similar practice named Santhara . Other  religious views on suicide vary in their tolerance, and include denial of 1 https://indconlawphilp visited at 25/10/2014    2 the right as well as condemnation of the act. In the Catholic faith, suicide is considered a grave sin. Euthanasia- Right to die: The word euthanasia, srcinated in Greece means a good death 1 . Euthanasia encompasses various dimensions, from active (introducing something to cause death) to passive (withholding treatment or supportive measures); voluntary (consent) to involuntary (consent from guardian) and physician assisted (where physician's prescribe the medicine and patient or the third party administers the medication to cause death). Request for premature ending of life has contributed to the debate about the role of such practices in contemporary health care. This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects such as, legal, ethical, human rights, health, religious, economic, spiritual, social and cultural aspects of the civilized society. The objective is to the subject of euthanasia from the medical and human rights perspective given the background of the recent Supreme Court judgment in this context. In India abetment of suicide and attempt to suicide are both criminal offences. In 1994, constitutional validity of Indian Penal Code Section (IPC Sec) 309 was challenged in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared that IPC Sec 309 is unconstitutional, under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the constitution in a landmark judgment. In 1996, an interesting case of abetment of commission of suicide (IPC Sec 306) came to Supreme Court. The accused were convicted in the trial court and later the conviction was upheld by the High Court. They appealed to the Supreme Court and contended that ‗right to die‘ be included in Article 21 of the Constitution and any person abetting the commission of suicide by anyone is merely assisting in the enforcement of the fundamental right under Article 21; hence their punishment is violation of Article 21. This made the Supreme Court to rethink and to reconsider the decision of right to die. Immediately the matter was referred to a Constitution Bench of the Indian Supreme Court. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die. Regarding suicide, the Supreme Court reconsidered its decision on suicide. Abetment of suicide (IPC Sec 306) and attempt to suicide (IPC Sec 309) are two distinct offences, hence Section 306 can survive independent of Section 309. It has also clearly stated that a person attempts suicide  3 in a depression, and hence he needs help, rather than punishment. Therefore, the Supreme Court has recommended to Parliament to consider the feasibility of deleting Section 309 from the Indian Penal Code. Most often, the idea of the right to die is related to a person's wish that caregivers allow death  —  for example, by not providing life support or vital medication  —  under certain conditions when recovery is highly unlikely or impossible. It may also refer to issues regarding physician-assisted suicide. It may be called passive euthanasia  in cases where the patient is unable to make decisions about treatment. Living wills and Do Not Resuscitate orders are legal instruments that make a patient's treatment decisions known ahead of time; allowing a patient to die based on such decisions is not considered to be euthanasia. Usually these patients have also made explicit their wish to receive only palliative care to reduce pain and suffering. Although specialized legal instruments differ from place to place, there are two more that are important in this context. TheFive Wishes document allows a person to state in advance the  priorities and values they wish to have honored at the end of life. And the Medical Durable Power of Attorney (or MDPOA) designates an agent to make decisions in case of incapacity, and can be used to give written guidance regarding end of life decision making. The MDPOA is generally considered to be the most powerful of all such instruments. All others may require interpretation on the part of health care providers or even court-appointed guardians; the MDPOA takes the job of interpretation out of the hands of strangers and gives it to a person selected and trusted by the individual; of course it is a personal decision. Arguments against the euthanasia: Eliminating the invalid: Euthanasia opposes argue that if we embrace ‗the right to death with dignity‘, people with incurable and debilitating illnesses will be disposed from our civilized society. The practice of palliative care counters this view, as palliative care would provide relief  4 from distressing symptoms and pain, and support to the patient as well as the care giver. Palliative care is an active, compassionate and creative care for the dying 2 . Constitution of India: ‗Right to life‘ is a natural right embodied in Article 21 but suicide is an unnatural termination or extinction of life and, therefore, incompatible and inconsistent with the concept of ‗right to life‘. It is the duty of the State to protect life and the physician's duty to  provide care and not to harm patients. If euthanasia is legalized, then there is a grave apprehension that the State may refuse to invest in health (working towards Right to life). Legalized euthanasia has led to a severe decline in the quality of care for terminally-ill patients in Holland. Hence, in a welfare state there should not be any role of euthanasia in any form. Symptom of mental illness: Attempts to suicide or completed suicide are commonly seen in  patients suffering from depression, schizophrenia and substance users. It is also documented in  patients suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Hence, it is essential to assess the mental status of the individual seeking for euthanasia. In classical teaching, attempt to suicide is a  psychiatric emergency and it is considered as a desperate call for help or assistance. Several guidelines have been formulated for management of suicidal patients in psychiatry. Hence, attempted suicide is considered as a sign of mental illness. Malafide intention: In the era of declining morality and justice, there is a possibility of misusing euthanasia by family members or relatives for inheriting the property of the patient. The Supreme Court has also raised this issue in the recent judgement. ‗Mercy killing‘ should not lead to ‗killing mercy‘ in the hands of the noble medical professionals. Hence, to keep control over the medical professionals, the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 discusses euthanasia briefly in Chapter 6, Section 6.7 and it is in accordance with the provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994. There is an urgent need to protect patients and also medical practitioners caring the terminally ill patients from unnecessary lawsuit. Law commission had submitted a report (no-196) to the government on this issue. 2 Rahulrai, Durga Das (1984),introduction to the constitution of India ―10 th  edition, South Asia Books publication p.124
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