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Law Legal and Ethical Aspects of Euthanasia

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					Ethical and Legal Aspects of Suicide

                          by

            Dr. Lakshmi Vijayakumar

                   Founder Sneha
 Member, W.H.O. Intl. Network for Suicide Prev. & Res.
           National Representative, I.A.S.P.
  Member, International Academy of Suicide Research
Ethics   A set of moral principles and values

Legal    of law, authority from law
• Suicide

• Euthanasia

• Assisted Suicide
Greek                               Roman

Pythogoras       No right           Zeno       Hanged
(530 BC)                            (490 BC)

Plato            Under compulsion   Accepted
(428 – 348 BC)

Aristotle        An Act
(384 – 224 BC)   Against state
China

Yizhuan            • Hopeless drug never be
  (500 BCE)          prescribed

• Confucianism &   • No right to suicide
  Taoism
                       Islam
              Submission to One God


It is not for any soul to die save by God’s permission.

 Spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourself to

           perdition with your own hands

                                          - Quran
Suicide Rates in Muslim Countries

        • Egypt      0.1

        • Iran       0.2

        • Syria      0.1

        • Kuwait     1.8

        • Turkey     2.37
                       Judaism

Your blood which belongs to your Soul – I will demand

                                              Genesis 9.5

His Soul is not his to extinguish

Except   :      Enforced conversion
                Endangering lives of others
                Sanctifying God
          Israel           Suicide rate 5.4
                                    (1955 – 2005)

• Jews from Eastern Europe – Higher rate

• In USA – More protective in N.E. States than South
                 Suicide Rate


• Japan           19.3           Thailand   4.0

• Sri Lanka         31

• Korea           14.6

              Not a sin but a grave error
                   Japan
• Harakiri & Seppuku

• Shinju           -   Lovers

• Junshi           -   With Master

• Funshi           -   Hatred, Revenge

• Kanshi           -   Criticism

• Kashitsu – shi   -   Mistake Paid by Death

• Aisei – shi      -   Sacrificial
                Christianity

The Bible            Saul, Samson, Judas

St. Augustine        Condemned Suicide
                Suicide Rate

• Italy        8.1      Germany        15.6
• Portugal     6.7      France         20.6
• Brazil       3.5      UK              7.5
• Argentina    6.6      Australia      12.1
• Spain        8.1      New Zealand    15.1
• Greece       3.4      Belgium        19.1
• Ireland     11.3      USA            11.1
                                    W.H.O. 2005
VEDAS AND UPANISHADS -
  DENOUNCED SUICIDE


 EPICS AND FOLKLORE -
   GLORIFIED SUICIDE
Allowable suicide

•   Atonement for sins

•   Mahaparasthana
 Religious Suicide

• Confluence of the rivers

• Temple car of puri

• Sati
              Religion & Countries
Suicide rates according to religion (per 100,000)
 45
 40
 35
 30
 25
 20
 15
 10
  5
  0                                  Muslim
   Buddhist     Christian   Hindu                Atheist

                   total      male      female
 Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide

• Belgium        • Switzerland

• Netherlands    • New Zealand

• Luxemberg      • Oregon
           Countries – Less Religious
 Sweden              Finland      Hungary

 Viet Nam            France       Netherlands

 Denmark             S. Korea     Britain

 Norway              Estonia      Belgium

 Japan               China

 Czech Republic      Germany

                     Russia

More tolerant to euthanasia and assisted suicide
   Assisted Suicide (Exit)

• 43 vs 425 ordinary suicides

•  older, more women, ↓ cancer

• 25% in incurable disease / disability
        Internet Assisted Suicides

• Cyber suicides in Japan

• Gerald Krein in Oregon 2005 – 31

  Single woman on Valentine’s day

• Direct / Indirect incitement of a suicide - a distinct
  crime (Acc 2004)
Failure In Care

• Failure to Predict

• Failure to Control

• Failure to Medicate

• Failure in Supervision
Indian Penal Code 309              Indian Penal Code 306
Section 309 of Indian Penal        Section 306 of Indian Penal
Code penalises attempt to          Code penalises abetment of
suicide    –    it    reads   as   suicide – it reads as “If any
“Whoever attempts to commit        person commits suicide, whoever
suicide and does any act towards   abets the commission of such
the commission of such offence,    suicide, shall be punished with
shall be punished with simple      imprisonment         of      either
imprisonment for a term which      description   for   a     term   not
may extend to one year or with     exceeding ten years, and shall
fine, or with both”                also be liable to fine”
• 1971   42nd Report             Repeal the law

• 1994   Bench of 2 judges       Repeal the law

• 1996   Constitution Bench      Reinstated

• 1997   156 Report (J. Reddy)   IPC 309 should continue
     Constraints

• Accessability to Tx

• Shame, Stigma

• Under reporting

• No entry to MH services
Thank You

				
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