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Right to die as much a right as right to live

Tuesday - April 10, 2018 10:42 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

April 10 (WTN): The Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the right to die or technically ‘euthanasia’ (mercy killing) has been largely welcomed by most quarters.
This has long been a contentious issue and widely debated, with most people feeling that such a right be granted to terminally ill patients suffering immense pain through the long period of their illness. Several countries in the world have long ago allowed this right legally and several other countries are in the process of doing so.

Though we have gone ahead only with passive euthanasia as yet and not active euthanasia, even then it is a big leap forward, especially in a country like India which is bound by several social, religious and cultural inhibitions regarding these things. Then there are ethical and moral concerns which have often proved hindrances in formulating any law towards allowing suffering patients end their lives.

Now we have at least a law in place which allows doctors to withdraw medicine and treatment and let the willing person die as per his/her wish as treatment gets prolonged and the suffering continually painful even with everyone knowing that things are going to end in death. There is no point prolonging the suffering when death is inevitable.

Active euthanasia is valid in countries like Switzerland, Japan, Germany and certain US states wherein a drug overdose is administered which leads to immediate death of the patient, thereby ending his suffering. India is yet to go for that, but passive euthanasia, which entails withdrawing of treatment, is good enough for now.
There are lakhs of people languishing in hospitals in pain and delirium for years but they were not allowed to die till recently. Now such people will see an end to their suffering since the law has finally come in place. By no means should we allow a human being to suffer endless pain just in wait of death. He must have the right to die respectably and as per his own wish. A life is one’s own and only that person has the authority to decide what to do with it. If life becomes a torture and worse than death, then death is what’s welcome.

The court by supporting this stance has shown its prudence and proved the progressiveness of the country and its law. It would be regressive to keep stuck perennially in societal bindings of tradition and let obsolete beliefs guide our modern day life. We need to revisit and if needed sever ties with the past idiosyncrasies or conservative beliefs and keep on reinventing ourselves in sync with the modern needs. That’s the way civilisation and society progress.

If death is what ensures peace and happiness to a person and his/her kin, then there is no reason we stop that by making such a medically approved way ‘illegal’. There are thousands of people who stay on in a vegetative state, which is no better in any way than death itself. Only the breathing remains, the brain is long dead. Family members go broke spending thousands for maintaining that vegetative state of a person who can neither speak, or see nor respond.

Why to prolong the torture? Those who suffer only know how it feels and it is a humanitarian good that the apex court has done by bringing in the law that legalises euthanasia in the country.

-Window To News

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Aruna was brutally sexually assaulted by sweeper died in 2015 after remaining comatose, a permanent vegetative state (PVS)  for a staggering 42 years.

 

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