Essay on Right to suicide
The ‘Right to life’, is one of the primary fundamental rights of a human being. Death is inevitable in nature and happens to everyone. But there are certain situations or circumstances in everyone’s life where the going gets tough. Every individual had faced such situations or hard times when he feels like ending his life is the only resort left. Most of the times, these negative feelings are momentary and with the passage of time the individual just moves on in life or at least learn to cope with the condition. However, some people find it hard to recuperate or regenerate the zeal to live. Suicide is the way out they opt for. Committing suicide is ending one’s life on his terms. But does the nature and the society give the human being the right to choose the time and mode of death is the controversial question.
There are differing views prevailing in different societies. Hinduism does authenticate the process but in certain medically terminal cases only. If a person is ill to point of ‘no return’ and if there is no hope of recuperation, then, in Hindu culture his respect and dignity of life is maintained and he is allowed to choose the way of death. In Jainism also such tradition occurs which is known as ‘santhara’. A person deliberately ceases the intake of food and water and dies while continuing the fast. But Christianity is strictly against any such right to die. According to them, life is the gift of god and only god has the right to take it back.
In India, the ‘right to life’ is explained under Article 21 in constitution. And any attempt to suicide is considered as a crime for which a person is charged under section 309 of Indian Penal code. The punishment can extend up to complete one year’s imprisonment, with or without fine. Supreme Court of India has taken various such cases where an individual or his relatives seek ‘right to die’. Though, the Court had denied granting any kind of relief in such cases. But has also left the debate open for ‘passive euthanasia’, where the life support or other assertive medical methods are withdrawn from the terminally ill patient for whom living just only comes as a stringent option.
Right to suicide has been advocated in various other countries of the world from time to time. Those in favour of the motion argues that one’s life is his possession and to continue with it or not should also be the individual’s decision rather an imposed rule. There are certain medical conditions in which the death is not the worst outcome. The quality of life is highly comprised and a person lives like nothing more than a piece of flesh and bones. There are some countries like New Zealand who had legalised the right to suicide but under strict boundaries. Any medically terminal patient can be granted the right to suicide who have reached a point of no return and had lost all the hopes of revival.
However, there are more strong and valid reasons opposing the ‘right to die’ than any kind of defending explanations. In a country like India, 90% of the deaths take place due to lack of medical facilities. Focusing on providing physician-assisted dying in such nation is a question simply out of place. On the other hand, ‘right to die’ is an inalienable and an inherent right of an individual. Therefore, there is no point in granting the right to suicide, to any individual in the system of law.