The Right to Die
“Whatever one’s believe in God, I know we can all agree, some lives are taken far to
early, and others far too late.”- Alan Shore, Boston Legal.
The death of Bradley Lowery raised some questions in my mind about the life itself. A boy of six years old has passed away achieving more than I will ever do and suffering more than I ever want to. A boy who wanted to live, died of cancer and an old man who wanted to die, is still living.
The following rights are required for any person to live.
• Right to Equality.
• Right to Freedom.
• Right against Exploitation.
• Right to Freedom of Religion.
• Cultural and Educational Rights.
• Right to Constitutional Remedies.
• Right to Food
• Right to Information etc.
In this list of Rights, it is my opinion that Right to Die should also be a fundamental right as dying with dignity is equally important as living with dignity. Human Beings should have the right to die when they are going through “hopeless and unbearable” suffering. We euthanize animals when they are suffering the same, why not humans? After all Humans are also animals.
Diseases like Alzhemiers/Final Stages of Cancer/ALS etc. are painful and with each passing day, the conditions worsens for the person as well as people around them. People might argue about the sanctity of life but there is no dignity is suffering. There is no diginity is soiling your bed and depending on someone for every work that needs to be carried. During the last breaths, people around you waiting for you to take that one last breath for the good of the sufferer and the people surrounding them.
Death always is not a word to spread around. Any word associated with death is always painful but sometimes in life, living is much more painful. I have witnessed people suffering from Cancer, seen documentaries, heard stories of people living in pain which makes me wonder whether a man’s life is judged on the way a person lived or the way the person died. Even after death of loved one we talk about their final moments and if we are judging a person on his last moments then shouldn’t everyone be able to die peacefully without suffering themselves and making others suffer.
If we argue that we should take care of our loved ones as they took care of us when we were young, then the counterpoint is that they were nurturing a new life and at the end of one’s life, one’s dignity is only at stake.
Aruna Shanbaug case is a classic example for the requirement for the Right to Die. Aruna Shanbaug was in vegetative stage for 42 years and what is the dignity or sanctity in living in that condition before passing away due to pneumonia. Even though Supreme Court has set out guidelines for passive euthanasia during the Aruna Shaunbaug trial, it rejected the plea for Active Euthanasia.
Passive euthanasia involves the withdrawing of treatment or food that would allow the patient to live while active euthanasia, including the administration of lethal compounds, legal in a number of nations and jurisdictions including Luxemburg, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the US states of Washington and Oregon, are still not bought into law in India. The guidelines set by the Supreme Court for Passive Euthanasia must be also applicable for Active Euthanasia. The most important being that that it must be approved by the High Court which can be applicable to Active Euthanasia. (source: Wikipedia)
Anything which has life wants to die in a natural course of life which sometimes doesn’t happen as planned. With increase in number of cases of Painful Diseases, the requirement of euthanasia has never required as much as now. To quote the quote from Alan Shore “some lives are taken far to early, and others far too late.”