Author- Samrina Zahedin , A Student At- Madhusudan Law University


Euthanasia, the act of ending a human life to put an end to his suffering. This is a topic of grave ethical, legal and societal debate and conflict. This is done to end the prolonged agony of a human being and certifies the right to a dignified death rather than having a dependant life. The concerns that are attached with this concept are innumerable in nature, the questions arise about the sacrosanct nature of life, the potential abuses of the same and many more legal and cultural perspectives.

Euthanasia raises contradictions related to autonomy, ethicality, morality and the role of healthcare industry in ending a life as it’s meant for saving the same. Arguments are raised on the matter that this allows the right to die with dignity, as its believed that allowing euthanasia emphasizes the individual’s autonomy over their life and it gives a chance of a humane exit to the people suffering from terminal diseases or are in unbearable pain rather than their body shutting down step-by-step causing pain and agony beyond the human endurance.

There are arguments as of the intrinsic worth of life and the possibility of the misuse of the same induced with coercion. There’s a steep slope leading towards involuntary Euthanasia. The religious consideration also comes in question where it is argued that only natural death can be accepted and unnaturally ending it undermines the sanctity of life.


Euthanasia related legal frameworks vary in various countries of the world. The legal landscape strikes a delicate balance between respecting individual choice and safeguards against potential abuse. 

Canada has decriminalized euthanasia by using the term “Medical Assistance In Dying” (MAID). The Canadian legal framework allows competent adults facing grievous and irremediable medical condition to request assistance in dying. While this marks a different route from tradition approach it aims to balance individual autonomy with the need for safeguards.

Switzerland has adopted a unique approach, allowing suicide under specific conditions. Individuals including foreigners can avail for themselves assisted suicide services provided by organizations often without requiring a diagnosis of a terminal illness. This permissive stance reflects a commitment to individual choice.

Similarly, countries like Netherlands and Belgium allow voluntary Euthanasia. Whereas many countries like the most of the United States Have strict restrictions and prohibition on Euthanasia. Also, In stark contrast, some countries which are influenced by religious beliefs vehemently oppose Euthanasia. Middle eastern and Asian nations emphasize on the cultural, religious and ethical values and hence valuing the sanctity of life, viewing intentional death as ethically unacceptable.


In India, the perspective on euthanasia is complex and is highly influenced by all of the cultural, religious, ethical, and legal factors. Euthanasia, often referred to as “mercy killing” or “assisted suicide,” has caused a huge number of debates across the nation.

Cultural and Religious influences:

Cultural and religious values play a substantial role in shaping Indian perspectives on euthanasia. Many Indians, believe in the sanctity of life and view suffering as an inherent part of one’s karma. However, there are diverse religious beliefs in India, and attitudes toward euthanasia can vary widely.

Public Opinion:

Public opinion in India on euthanasia is diverse. Some people advocate for the right to die with dignity, especially in cases of terminal illness and unbearable suffering. Others are concerned about the potential for abuse, and the ethical implications of intentionally causing death.

Medical Opinion:

Within the medical community, there are differing views. Some healthcare professionals argue for the compassionate use of euthanasia in cases of severe pain and terminal illnesses, while others emphasize the importance of palliative care and improving end-of-life support.

Legal Landscape:

India does not have a specific law addressing euthanasia. India Does not allow active euthanasia i.e, Administration of lethal compounds to end someone’s life at any circumstances. Passive Euthanasia more commonly known as withholding and/or withdrawal of life support has been legalized under extreme circumstances. The Supreme Court in the case of Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug V. Union of India1 issued a set of broad guidelines legalizing passive Euthanasia in India. Which were – the decision to withdraw treatment, nutrition, or water must be taken by parents, spouse or other close relatives, or in absence of them, by a ‘next friend’. The decision also requires court approval.

The absence of comprehensive legislation on euthanasia in India has led to ongoing debates. Advocacy groups and individuals continue to call for clear guidelines and regulations, emphasizing the need for legal clarity to avoid ethical dilemmas and ensure protection against potential misuse.

Indian outlook on euthanasia is multifaceted, with a balance between respecting individual autonomy and addressing ethical, cultural, and legal concerns. As discussions on this issue continue, it remains an evolving aspect of India’s healthcare and legal landscape.


Euthanasia is a morally charged issue, and brings with itself nuanced debates surrounding individual autonomy, sacredness of life, and ethical considerations advocates assert the importance of compassionate end-of-life choices emphasizing on relief from excruciating suffering. On the contradictory opponents’ express reservations about the abuse, erosion of life’s value, and the chances of involuntary Euthanasia. Legal approaches vary globally, where some countries adopt this concept with modifications others maintain restrictive regulations. The Cultural and religious factors create a massive controversy too. The medical community face a delicate tension between saving life and eliminating the same in order to end profound suffering. The landscape of Euthanasia demands a careful consideration and navigation of ethical , legal and societal complexities. 

1.(2011) 4 SCC 454


In the intricate realm of Euthanasia, the clash between individuals’ choice and the sacred nature of life persists. As societies grapple with the intricacies a profound question lingers: Can we strike a just balance, respecting both the choice and the safeguards? The ongoing discourse challenges us to navigate the complex landscape of life, death, and human agency. How can we forge a path that acknowledges both compassion and the controversy?

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