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Article Review

The article chosen is A Law Without Parliament, written by D N


Goburdhun, published in the opinion columns of The Indian Express
dated 29th march 2018. In this article, writer brings the attention on
the recent landmark judgement by Supreme Court of India over
Euthanasia delivered by a five-judge bench headed over by CJI
Deepak Misra which ruled that euthanasia and advance living will be
"permissible" from now on.
The article begins by citing examples of the countries like the USA,
France and England where Euthanasia is prohibited. It also gives
instances where attempts were made to legalise mercy death like
1972 bill to delete section 309(attempt to suicide) and the verdict in
the Gian Kaur case (1996) which held that the right to life did not
include the right to die.
The recent judgement by the five-judge bench was based on the fact
that the suffering of any terminally ill person should not be carried
forward when there is no cure available. This judgement also permits
the individual to make a testamentary declaration, which is to be
endorsed by a judicial magistrate wherein the person will
unambiguously state that in case she/he becomes incurably ill, and
does not want to live further, should be allowed to die with dignity.
The article gives reference of the judgement in the Aruna Shanbaug
case, delivered by Justice Markandey Katju, which promoted the
concept of euthanasia by carving out a novel path for medically-
aided killing and also mentions how it received opposition from the
Attorney General. Writer also gives the opinion of the smaller bench
in the Shanbaug case that The SC judges have expressed, many
times, that they are not experts in various fields, including medicine
and healthcare. The guidelines in the current verdict pertain to how
doctors will be assessed which is a big loophole in the current
verdict.
But, the interesting question raised by this article is that in this case,
The Supreme Court took over the functions of Parliament and has
made this a judicial legislation, which will prevail till Parliament
legislates. Laws have to be made by Parliament and the courts
strictly have to interpret the law, and not legislate. Should the apex
court have sailed into uncharted waters and ruled where there is no
Parliament-made legislation? Should courts just try to focus on the
maintenance of the law or should interfere in creating them as well?
The article does a wonderful job by bringing this issue as though the
decision may be supported by some and opposed by some, but the
way the court brought this decision by creating a new law is also a
big matter of concern.
The language used by the writer in the article is quite respectable,
unbiased, more fact-based than theoretical despite being satirical at
some times.