Right to ‘Die with Dignity’: Analysis of ‘Common Cause V. Union Of India’ (2018)

Goswami, G. K. and Goswami, Siddhartha (2018) Right to ‘Die with Dignity’: Analysis of ‘Common Cause V. Union Of India’ (2018). Journal of the Indian Law Institute, 60 (1). pp. 97-110. ISSN 00195731

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The Supreme Court of India, in the instant Writ Petition, has recognized death with dignity as fundamental right and has given effect to Advanced Medical Directives (Living Will) and the Medical Attorney Authorisation to facilitate the exercise of this right. It is a welcome step of the apex judiciary which has addressed the long awaited demand for legalizing passive euthanasia in Indian legal system. However, the judgement maintained conspicuous silence on the constitutional validity of attempted suicide under s. 309 of the Indian Penal code (IPC). Indeed, the Medical Healthcare Act, 2017 has lit the candle of hope for suicide survivors, enabling them the Right to Live with Dignity rather than facing penal action and social stigma and has also recognized Living Will and medical attorney authorisation. The Act, 2017 has specific provisions to decriminalize attempted suicide. However, s. 309 and 306 of IPC continues to exist, demanding a correction in apparent inconsistencies in Indian criminal law. This court verdict has paved the way for peacefully ending the life of terminally ill patients, but has simultaneously, the potential to unleash a flurry of demands to exercise this right to dignified death through higher judiciary by people who have lost the desire to live for whatever reason. The Government has to place more emphasis on healthcare and health insurance so that common people may not be compelled to use living will as a tool to save their families from undue medical expenses. Robust mechanism must be in place to protect innocent and unsuspecting people from vicious traps designed by their unscrupulous legatees through advanced directives.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2022 08:14
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 08:14
Official URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26826627?casa_token=Z...
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/3523


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