Thursday, 7 July 2022



“Whatever crazy sorrow saith, 

No life that breathes with human breath 

Has ever truly long’d for death.” 

-The Two Voices

By Alfred Tennyson

Meaning, a life with ever so little humanity who breathes, a person whose living a life even with sorrows don’t wish to be dead.

The term Euthanasia is derived from a Greek word “euthanatos”.  Eu meaning good and thanatos meaning to die. So that is good death.

Euthanasia or Mercy Killing or Assisted suicide is when the life of a person is deliberately or voluntarily ended. It is a practice of intentionally ending the life of a person to relieve them from pain and suffering. For euthanasia to take place a person must be suffering from incurable disease or must be in a vegetative state. Legally requesting to end a person’s life voluntarily has been under a lot of debate taking in consideration the cultural, religious, spiritual, ethical etc. 

Unfortunately there are people who are suffering from incurable and a long term disease or who are in vegetative state unable to talk, move, eat, etc who find death to be their ultimate solution. 

Euthanasia raises a number of agonizing moral dilemmas:-

  • Is it morally and ethically ever right to end a person’s life who is suffering from severe pain and suffering?

  • Under what circumstances euthanasia can be justifiable?

  • Is there a moral difference between killing someone and letting them die?

At the heart of these arguments, there are different ideas that people have about the meaning and value of human life and human existence.

  • Should humans have the right to decide on the issues of life and death, which is considered God’s role.

And even if it was morally right, it could be taken advantage of and be used as a cover for murder. Even forgery can be carried on just for the sake of property of the aged parents, so on and so forth.

There are two types of euthanasia:-

  1. Active Euthanasia

  2. Passive Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia is when direct and deliberate death of a person is caused by someone with lethal drug dosage.

Passive Euthanasia also known as negative euthanasia, non-aggressive euthanasia is when the patient stops taking medication which eventually causes death of the person.

In India, Active Euthanasia is illegal because of Article 21 of the constitution which gives us ‘Right to life’. On the other hand, the acceptance level among the masses in respect of passive euthanasia is way more than active euthanasia. 


In 1996, Supreme Court in the case of Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab held both euthanasia and assisted suicide not lawful in India. In this case, the Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die.

In 2011, In Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v. Union of India the Supreme Court held that passive euthanasia can be allowed under exceptional circumstances under strict monitoring.

The concept of Living  Will in India:-

In a landmark order (Common Cause case), the Supreme Court in 2018 has allowed living will and passive euthanasia. It has held that the right to die with dignity is an inextricable facet of Article 21. It further said that an adult human having mental capacity to take an informed decision has the right to refuse medical treatment including withdrawal from life saving.

As there are two sides of every coin, euthanasia has its pros and cons as well.

Some people fear that, legalized euthanasia can send a message to the people that, ‘It’s better to be dead than to be sick or disabled.’ It can be a slippery slope. People could take advantage of the situation. For example:- Aged parents could be killed for the sake of property, it could be used for covering up a murder. Not every case of euthanasia can be in the best interest of the patient.

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