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October 23, 2017

Die another day – says Rajasthan High Court


Newsroom24x7 Desk

dieanotherdayNew Delhi: This business maybe God’s favorite pass time – life and death ! And HE has a copyright over it ! But, as far as we are concerned, we are the masters of our lives, not our death. When God kills us, its Legal. When we kill us, its illegal, Its your life, but you don’t have the right to decide if you want to live or die, says Rajasthan High Court ruling on the Jain practice of “Santhara”.

Santhara, a traditional Jain practice aka Sullekhana is a terminal form of meditation wherein a person following Jainism when vows to Santhara denounces food intake of any form, water too, and fasts Nirjala awaiting death, the ultimate union with the Almighty of his/her choice.

Based on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed earlier by human rights activist Nikhil Soni, the Rajasthan High Court has called it a punishable practice akin to suicide attempt under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 306 (abetment). Constitution guarantees right to life and since Santhara is generally practiced by the old, hence they cannot be allowed to suffer without medical assistance, food and water.

Euthanasia too falls in the same category – ‘to die or not to die’. Permissions of our death rests neither in our hands nor on our near and dear ones’, but it rests on the hands of the governing head of nation.

Its better to learn to live rather than wanting to die. Agreed. But there are people out there with severs terminal diseases, living each day pain by pain, getting through the tortures of life at every dawn of the day, hoping to shut the eyes finally as night falls. They are someone’s near and dear, yet, sometimes people want to die and there is no way out.

In Belgium, recent studies last week (published in Wall Street Journal) revealed that more than a decade after it was legalized, physician-assisted suicide appears to be on the increase in parts of Belgium, according to a study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. In the 2013 study, more than 75% of requests were granted, up from about 55% in 2007. The growth is likely due to increased visibility among patients as well as greater acceptance among physicians, according to Kenneth Chambaere, a study author and postdoctoral fellow at the End-of-Life Care Research Group, a collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. “It’s like a rolling ball that goes on and on,” said Dr. Chambaere. “People recognize this more and more as a valid option of last resort.”

In Belgium, two physicians must give their approval, and a committee of medical professionals, lawyers, ethicists and politicians reviews every case afterward to make sure the criteria were met. In the case of psychological distress, the law requires agreement by a third consulting physician and it can often take years for people to find enough doctors who agree to grant their request. With more clear-cut cases like terminal cancer, euthanasia can be carried out within days of a request.

In India however, God must be having HIS last laugh and the copyright of Life and Death rests protected and patented with HIM till eternity.

Die another day, says Rajasthan High Court.

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