Author : Jagrit Arora ,a  student of Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University,New Delhi 


Euthanasia is a controversial and morally complex topic. Many arguments undertook whether we bring euthanasia into practice or not. Some people were on a point that if we bring euthanasia into practice,This would be against the human rights of these persons . on the other and some people were on the point that euthanasia should be allowed as the people who are suffering from incurable  diseases have a right to die dignity. Euthanasia was made legal after three land mark judgment – Gian Kaur v State of Punjab , Aruna Shanbaug v Union of India in 2011and finally Common Cause v Union of India , passive euthanasia was made legal in India . The court made that passive euthanasia possible in India in certain condition in which it will be decided by the High Court and also let that there should be a proper process of followed by a High Court . 


Euthanasia often referred as mercy killing or assisted suicide is a controversial, ethical and moral issue that revolves around the deliberate  act of ending someone’s life to relieve them from pain and suffering, especially in the context of terminal illness or unbearable medical condition. The term is derived from the greek word,(eu) which means good and Thanatos which means (death) Essentially translating to good death. euthanasia is generally of two types :active and passive euthanasia.

Active euthanasia was the intentional act of causing the death of a person typically, through administration of a lethal substance or other direct means. Passive euthanasia involves withdrawing medical treatment of life. Sustaining measures with the intention, allowing the natural process of death to occur .

if we generally talk about our Indian legal system, active euthanasia is considered illegal. It is to talk about passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia was earlier been illegal but there have been many petition raising the issues of passive euthanasia . Generally the article 21 right to life talks about right to live with dignity and to right to  die with the dignity and after the case of Arun Shanbaug ,passive euthanasia became legal in India . In 1973, Aruna Shanbaug  was working as a nurse as host in hospital in Mumbai India. When she was greatly sexually assaulted by a ward boy, the assaulter left her in a persistent vegetative state meaning she will not be unaware of her nearby . Aruna Shanbaug remained in the condition being cared of the hospital staff in 2011. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court of India seeking the permission to withdraw life support, arguing that Aruna Shanbaug  continued existence in a vegetative state . the case trigger a debate on euthanasia right to die in India in a landmark decision in  2011, the Supreme Court of India rejected the plea to allow active euthanasia but permitted the withdrawal of life support stating that it could be conceded in specific cases. Subject to approval of High Court, the court decision outlet guideline of Pacific Tia stating and should be based on a careful evolution of the patient’s condition and with the approval of appropriate legal authority.

Euthanasia generally bone of contention some people argue for an individual lie to diet dignity and avoid unnecessary suffering while opponents  concerns about the sanctity of life. The potential for abuse, ,the slipper slope towards involuntary actions . The ethical, legal, religious and cultural aspects surrounding euthanasia is very widely leading to ongoing debate and discussions worldwide.



     Defintion : euthanasia involves intentionally ending another person life to relieve their suffering typically due to serve illness or medical condition.

    Context   : euthanasia is a controversial and morally complex topic. It can be categorised into different on such as voluntarily euthanasia (with explicit consent of patient). Involuntarily euthanasia (without the patients, consent) and non-voluntary euthanasia (with the patient consent cannot be obtained or it is unclear)

   Legal and Ethical Considerations: The legality and ethical acceptance of euthanasia very widely. Some countries or regions permit certain forms of euthanasia under strict conditions while other considerate illegal and acceptable, the debate revolves around issues of autonomy, quality of life and sanctity  of life.

2. Sucide 

    Definition: suicide refers to act intentionally, causing one’s own death

   Context. : society generally viewed complex and tragic outcome of an associated with the mental health issue, which disappear or other personal struggles.

   Legal and Ethical Considerations: in many society, society is considered as criminal act and their are legal and ethical concerns surrounding the its prevention. Efforts are typically directed towards providing melton health support and intervention to prevent suicide.

 So suicide is different from euthanasia because in suicide person in himself for taking his life where in euthanasia, it’s a removal of life support or administration of drugs are done by medical practitioners.

The landmark Case of Gyan Kaur versus State of Punjab, The case was generally based on the concept of section 306 of Indian penal code. Article 21 of the Indian constitution, which contains a provision of right to the court clarified that right to life does not consist of right to die. The court also made a difference between suicide and abetment to  suicide.


Under article 21 of the Indian constitution, right to life and personal liability is a fundamental right, but the right to life does not consist of right to death, but it generally consist of a term right to die with dignity. 

The Supreme Court in the landmark judgement on March 9, 2018 in common cause v union of India held by five judges, constitutional bench compromising the chief Justice of India Mr Justice Deepak Misra, Mr Justice AK Sikri, Mr Justice A.M. Khanwillar , Mr Justice DY Chandrachud and Mr Justice Ashok Bhushan. In 2005, an NGO filed a petition in the Supreme Court for declaring right to live with dignity under the article 21 of the Constitution. The 538 pages judgement includes right to die with the dignity in article 21 and also added the concept of passive euthanasia . 

For example, if any patient is suffering from cancer and the doctor sees that he is disease is not curable so in this case of passive euthanasia can be given .

Euthanasia in India :

    Indian law system is totally against the euthanasia. in the recent time, Indian law system have been receiving  petitions filed by  peoples on the basis of whether the euthanasia is legal or illegal. In the case where the person is suffering from a disease where his disease is not curable then in this case, the euthanasia should be given.Many advocates undertake debate whether euthanasia is valid or not not valid . 

Debate For Validation: 

    The validation of euthanasia is multifaceted issue with various arguments in support of its validation . The individuals suffering from terminal illness or unbearable suffering should have the autonomy to make decisions about their own lives, including the opinion to choose a peaceful and controlled and through euthanasia. Euthanasia would be a relief to a person who is suffering from unbearable illness. This is truth that nobody wants to die and nobody wants that their  loved one to die. In the landmark judgement of common course v union of India, it was held at a patient. Suffering from suffering in pain , it is upon the court to decide . 

Debate against validation :

  One  primary argument against the validation of euthanasia is based on sanctity of life contending that intentionally ending a human life even in the case of severe suffering violates the value placed on life itself. The perspective often alliance with religious beliefs and moral tradition that emphasise the preservation of life. Critics worry that legalising euthanasia could lead to a situation where vulnerable individual such as elderly of those with  disabilities might feel perceived to choose that due to societal expectations, financial burden or inadequate healthcare resources there is a possibility of miss using euthanasia by family members or relatives can be seen just for the sake of their own benefit If euthanise is illegal, then doctors may slowdown in working towards betterment of health and bringing treatment for incurable  disease.

Euthanasia In Another Countries : 

Euthanasia law vary globally. Let’s take a look at the countries where the process is legal and not legal :

  1. Netherlands : 

        Netherland was the first country to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2002 and Netherland imposed a strict guidelines about patient must be suffering from incurable disease. 

 2. Belgium : 

       Belgium introduced the euthanasia in 2002. Belgium also added a unique concept where the foreigners can submit a request to end their life in the Belgium and the uniqueness, at attracts patient from neighbouring countries including money from France in 2022, over 70French people cross the border to die in Belgium.

3. Switzerland:

     According to the Switzerland law, active euthanasia is not legal, but assisted suicide is legal. Organisations like a Dignitas  provide assisted suicide services. Dignitas are  group that helps people with assisted suicide. This generally means that if person is very ill and wants to die, doctor and nurses help them to end their life.

4. Canada : 

     In 2016, Canada, legalised assisted dying. Law was generally limited to adults with a grievous and irremediable medical  condition . In 2021, Canada made changes in euthanasia laws to no longer require that a patient’s condition to be terminal ill ,allowing people whose condition is serious and incredible to request it. 

5. Luxembourg: 

     In 2019, Luxembourg, legalised euthanasia and it follows similar criteria that was made in the Belgium and Netherlands. 

6. United States: 

    United States allowed assisted dying legal in some states like Oregon , Washington DC, Hawaii, Washington, Maine , New Jersey, California. 

7. Germany : 

     Germany legalised assisted suicide in 2015 and it also made a concept that euthanasia is illegal unless The patient actively seeks it .

8 . Australia: 

    Voluntary assisted dying legalised in some states (Example, Victoria, , western Australia) the criteria vary bad, generally required terminal illness, and unbearable suffering.. 

9 . Japan : 

      No specific laws for euthanasia in Japan, but their ongoing debates and discussions, but currently it is not legalised. 

10. India : 

     Euthanasia is illegal but passive euthanasia is allowed under certain conditions. The Supreme Court has set guidelines for living wills .


  In Conclusion, law and regulations regarding euthanasia vary widely around the world with some countries, allowing it under specific circumstances while other prohibit it entirely public opinion  on euthanasia differs significantly. Ultimately the question of whether euthanasia is correct or not. subjectively depends on one ethical, religious and cultural and personal beliefs. It is an ongoing and complex social debate that involves considerations of compassion, autonomy, sanctity of life and the potential consequences of legalising assisted death.

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