Euthanasia – A Step Towards Ensuring the Right to Live a Human Life with Dignity
By Shanthilal S, Saveetha School of Law, Chennai.*
This article aims to address Euthanasia from a humanistic and philosophical standpoint as to why the idea of terming Euthanasia as "Physician-Assisted Suicide" is harmful to the way euthanasia is viewed. More emphasis is laid on the case of Aruna Shanbaug and the Doctrine of Colourable legislation whereby this article puts forth an argument in favour of legalizing Active Euthanasia as a means to end human suffering and a way of ensuring the right to life i.e., to live with dignity and autonomy. Special emphasis is also being made on the works of Immanuel Kant (nicknamed the Kantian philosophy) along with article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This article also relies on the Hippocratic corpus to arrive at an inference that death could be a release from suffering and that, in some cases, ending life may be the best option for a patient. The article also concludes that Euthanasia, be it active or passive, can very much be legalized and aims at giving reasoning for the same. This article also takes into account the logic behind the Doctrine of Colourable Legislation and concludes that a reverse application of the doctrine would very much allow legalizing Euthanasia in all forms.
Keywords: Death, Ailment, Euthanasia, Suffering, Pain, Dignity, Right to Life, right to die.
* The author is a final-year Law student pursuing B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from, Saveetha School of Law, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai.