Does Article 21 Includes Right to Die

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“For those who face an incurable disease, suffer from incurable pain and suffering, and want to exercise their right to die with dignity, a system should be available to them.” In India, aiding and abetting suicide and attempting suicide are two crimes. In 1994, the constitutional validity of Section 309 of the Indian Criminal Code (IPC Sec) was challenged before the Supreme Court.4 The Supreme Court declared Article 309 of the IPC unconstitutional in accordance with Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution in a landmark judgment4. In 1996, an interesting assisted suicide case (IPC Sec 306) was brought before the Supreme Court.5 The defendants were found guilty by the Court of First Instance and later the conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court. They appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the “right to die” was enshrined in article 21 of the Constitution and that any person who promoted suicide by anyone merely contributed to the implementation of the fundamental right set forth in article 21; therefore, their punishment constitutes a violation of Article 21. This prompted the Supreme Court to reconsider and reconsider the decision on the right to die. The case was immediately referred to a constitutional bank of the Supreme Court of India. The Court held that the right to life under article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die.5 The Supreme Court`s decision provides an opportunity to draft comprehensive legislation that fully recognizes the right to a dignified death. Essentially, the decision is a gradual step that frees people`s loved ones from the guilt of having to make difficult decisions and frees doctors from the fear of being tried for negligent homicide. A similar decision was rendered by the Supreme Court in the P Rathinam case (1994) and ruled that Section 21 of the Constitution includes the right to die, declaring that Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code is unconstitutional. An adult who has the intellectual capacity to make an informed decision has the right to refuse clinical treatment, including the removal of life-saving devices. A person with competent intellectual capacity is entitled to carry out advanced medical instructions in accordance with the safeguards. For the first time, the issue of the “right to die” was raised before the Bombay Supreme Court in the maruti Sripati Dubal case (1987).

This case was filed to include the “right to die” as a fundamental right. The Bombay High Court struck down Section 309 (Sentence for Attempted Suicide) of the Indian Penal Code and declared it unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has also ruled that the right to life includes the right to die. As in the case of suicide, although Article 309 of the ICC has recently been classified as arbitrary and the state has withdrawn the previous punishment for those who attempted suicide, the state still does not promote suicide. The state simply refrains from criminalizing it because it understands that it is a mental health issue. The Constitutional Bench of Judges, composed of CJI Dipak Misra, Judge A K Sikri, Judge Ashok Bhushan, Judge D Y Chandrachud and Judge A M Khanwilkar, issued a landmark decision on March 9, 2018 in which it stated that the right to life includes the right to live in dignity and authorized passive euthanasia, which allows for a living will with advance directives (the living will is a document/will, with which a person makes arrangements to make health care decisions in case they are not able to make those decisions in the future). “Suicide attempts.” – Anyone who attempts suicide and commits an act to commit such a crime will be punished with a simple term of imprisonment of up to one year [or a fine, or both]. In India, this is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 21, which is Part III of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 states: In sentencing, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to die with dignity is an essential aspect of the right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 considers dignity as its essential foundation and, therefore, every individual must have the right to decide whether or not to accept medical interventions in the event of an incurable disease. The right to live in dignity implies autonomy from the process of dying and the decision not to suffer and not to suffer.

Such an interpretation is consistent with Article 1 of the UDHR, which defines a dignified life, and Articles 6, 7, 17 and 18 of the ICCPR, which extend the conceptualisation of the right to a dignified life. John Locke, among other philosophers, explained that people have the right to their lives, freedom and property, and according to this logic, arguments arise that if you have the absolute right to life, you must also give them the right to decide whether they want to die or whether they want to end their lives in case of incurable diseases. Second, the decision is criticized by religious groups who claim that the right to life is in God`s hands, and withdrawing treatment is such a right, as it can result in the death of a person suffering from an incurable disease.