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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

23 Jan, 2023

24 Min Read

Passive Euthanasia

GS-II : Governance Rights based issues

Passive Euthanasia

Recently, the country's honourable Supreme Court decided to simplify the process of passive euthanasia.

Guideline by the court:

  • A five-judge Constitutional bench, led by Justice KM Joseph, decides to greatly simplify the country's passive euthanasia process.
  • The document must now be signed by the "living will" executor in the presence of two attesting witnesses, preferably unrelated, and attested before a notary or Gazetted Officer, following new regulations.
  • The Supreme Court previously held that a terminally ill patient or a person in a persistent vegetative state may execute an advance medical directive or a "living will" to refuse medical treatment. The SC also held that the right to live with dignity included the ability to "smoothen" the dying process.
  • With the modification of its earlier order and the removal of the requirement that a magistrate's approval be obtained before withdrawing or withholding life support from a terminally ill person, the Supreme Court has streamlined this process for passive euthanasia.
  • The ruling by the Supreme Court was based on a PIL that NGO Common Cause had filed to have terminally ill patients' requests for passive euthanasia recognised as "living wills."
  • The SC has further stated that the instructions and guidelines will be in effect till Parliament introduces relevant legislation.

What is Assisted Suicide?

  • Both assisted suicide and euthanasia are methods of ending a person's life voluntarily with the help of others.
  • In certain circumstances, assisted suicide and euthanasia are permitted in a number of European countries, some Australian jurisdictions, and Colombia in South America.

Types of Euthanasia:

Active:

  • Only a few nations permit active euthanasia, which involves using drugs to end the patient's life.

Passive:

  • This simply entails the patient's agreement, or that of a family member or close friend acting on the patient's behalf, to stop life-saving treatment or medical intervention.
  • The act of withholding or withdrawing medical care, such as withholding or removing life support, with the aim of letting a person die, is known as passive euthanasia.
  • Active euthanasia, in contrast, entails an active intervention to end a person's life with drugs or an outside force, like giving a deadly injection.

Euthanasia in India:

  • The Supreme Court of India legalised passive euthanasia in 2018 in a landmark decision, using the concept of a "living will."
  • In accordance with the ruling, an adult who is of sound mind is allowed, under certain circumstances, to voluntarily opt against receiving medical care in order to embrace death in a natural way.
  • It also established rules for "living wills" signed by terminally ill individuals who are aware of the likelihood that they will enter a permanent vegetative state.
  • The court cited Article 21 of the Constitution, which states that "Dignity in the process of dying is as much an element of the right to life. An individual's sense of purpose in life is taken away when their dignity is violated near the end of their life.

The distinction between physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

  • Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are frequently confused. The lethal medicine is administered differently depending on who does it.
  • A doctor or other third party delivers euthanasia.
  • Although on the doctor advise, the patient really carries out physician-assisted suicide.
  • The term "assisted death" is sometimes used to refer to both assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Classification:

  • Voluntary Euthanasia (with Patients' Consent): Patients' consent is obtained before euthanasia is carried out. Some nations, like as Belgium, the Netherlands, etc., have legalised it.
  • Non-voluntary Euthanasia: When a patient is unable to provide their consent (for instance, if they are seriously brain-damaged or in a state of coma), another person must make the decision on their behalf. This is frequently the case since the patient had previously stated a desire to end their life in these situations.
  • Involuntary Euthanasia: (conducted without the patient's consent or against their will): Euthanasia carried out against the patient's will is referred to as involuntary euthanasia. It's also considered to be murder.

Euthanasia's supporters: have put forth four basic justifications, according to Ezekiel Emanuel, an opponent of the practice:

  • That people should be given the freedom to determine their own fate since they have the right to do so.
  • Allowing a subject to pass away is preferable to letting them suffer any longer.
  • The difference between passive euthanasia, which is routinely permitted, and active euthanasia is not substantive (the fundamental principle, the doctrine of twofold effect, is irrational), thus allowing euthanasia won't inevitably have unfavourable effects.
  • In order to prove that legalising euthanasia is generally trouble-free, pro-euthanasia campaigners frequently cite examples of other nations where it has been legalised, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc.

Doctrine of twofold effect:

  • The doctrine of double effect says that if doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect, then it is ethically acceptable to do it provided the bad side-effect wasn’t intended. This is true even if you foresee that the bad effect would probably happen.
  • The above principle is used to justify the case where a doctor gives drugs to a patient to lessen distressing symptoms in spite of knowing that doing so may shorten the patient’s life.
  • This is because the doctor is not targeting directly to kill the patient, and the bad result of the patient’s death is a side-effect of the good result of reducing the patient’s pain.

Rights-based arguments:

  • People have a clear right to die.
  • Death is a personal matter, and the government and others have no authority to interfere if no harm is done to others (libertarian case)
  • Allowing patients to pass away could free up limited medical resources (this is a possible argument, but so far no authority has seriously proposed it)

Arguments Against Euthanasia

Ethical defences

  • The sanctity of life may be less respected in society as a result of euthanasia.
  • Euthanasia advocates would be saying that some lives—those of the sick or disabled—are less valuable than others.
  • Arguments from religion – Religions are against euthanasia for a variety of reasons.

Euthanasia contravenes God's will. (God prohibits it)

  • Many religions consider euthanasia to be a morally repugnant form of murder. Some religions also consider suicide to be "illegal". There is a moral argument that euthanasia will erode society's adherence to the value of human life.

Patient Competence:

  • Euthanasia can only be performed voluntarily if the patient is mentally sound, has a clear comprehension of the alternatives and potential outcomes, and is able to communicate both their understanding and their desire to end their own life. Competence is difficult to determine or define.

Guilt:

  • Patients could feel like a drain on resources and that giving consent is being psychologically forced upon them. They can believe that their family is under too much of a financial, emotional, and mental strain.

India's History of Euthanasia:

  • In the Gyan Kaur case, the Supreme Court ruled that assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in India. The Court's misleading statement was:
  • According to Article 21 of the Constitution, the right to death is not a part of the right to life. The court concluded that Article 21 cannot reasonably be interpreted to ensure the extinction of life because it is a provision guaranteeing the preservation of life and personal liberty.
  • It is also possible to die with dignity if you have the right to live in dignity.
  • However, the court was unable to produce any useful guidelines and gave politicians the task of enacting legislation governing euthanasia.
  • The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill 2006 was published by the Law Commission of India in its 196th report in 2006. Euthanasia, however, is not covered by any laws.
  • In the case of Aruna Shanbaug v. Union of India, the supreme court established procedures for handling requests for passive euthanasia in 2011. It stated that the procedures outlined under the guidelines should be followed up until Parliament has drafted legislation. Additionally, it explained the distinctions between aggressive and passive euthanasia.
  • A proposed law known as the Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill was prepared in 2012 as part of The Law Commission's 241st report, which once more recommended passing laws on passive euthanasia.
  • The Supreme Court of India's three-judge bench referred the debate over euthanasia to its five-judge Constitution bench in 2014 after finding the ruling in the Aruna Shanbaug case to be "inconsistent in itself."
  • The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill is a proposed law that the Health Ministry uploaded in 2016 for public comment. The ministry wants people to share their opinions so that it can decide whether or not to enact a law on passive euthanasia.

Source: The Indian Express

Chargesheet is not a “Public Document”: SC

GS-II : Governance Police reforms

Chargesheet is not a “Public Document”: SC

Chargesheets are deemed to be private documents as declared by the Supreme Court bench.

About the news:

  • The Supreme Court ruled that the government is not required to post chargesheets on police or official websites in order to give the public unrestricted access to them.
  • According to the Court, posting chargesheets for public review would be against the rights of the accused, victims, and investing agency.

A chargesheet: What is it?

  • A chargesheet is the final report created by a police officer or investigating agency following the conclusion of their investigation into a case, as described by Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • According to section 173(2) of the CrPC, the chargesheet in K Veeraswami v. Union of India & Others (1991) is the police officer's final report.
  • If a chargesheet isn't filed against the suspect within the required window of 60 to 90 days, the arrest is invalid and the suspect is eligible for bail.

Chargesheet Must Include:

  • Names, the type of information, and offences are all specified. The chargesheet provides vital information regarding the accused's arrest, detention, release, and whether or not any actions were taken against him.

How to proceed after submitting the chargesheet:

  • The official in charge of the police station sends the chargesheet to the magistrate after it has been prepared, who has the authority to take note of the offences listed there so that the charges can be formulated.
  • Typically, a chargesheet refers to one or more FIRs and the accusations made against a person or group for the crimes detailed in each FIR.
  • The judicial system's prosecution of the accused begins after the charge sheet has been presented to a court of law.

What is The First Information Report (FIR)?

  • Any information about the commission of a Cognizable Offence that is provided orally or in writing to an officer who is on duty by a party who feels wronged or by any other person is referred to as an F.I.R.
  • The Judicial Magistrate may direct the concerned jurisdictional area of the Police Station to register an F.I.R. based on the information supplied.
  • Zero F.I.R. : Regardless of the police station's jurisdiction, a complaint may be filed using zero F.I.R. at any police station. It is a revision that was made following the Nirbhaya Rape Case.

How Do Chargesheets and FIRs Differ?

Provision:

  • Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) defines the phrase "chargesheet," although neither the Indian Penal Code (IPC) nor the CrPC define the term "First Information Report" (FIR). Instead, it is covered by the police regulations/rules in Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which is about "Information in Cognizable Cases."

Filing period:

  • An FIR is filed at the "first" instance that the police are notified of a cognizable offence, whereas the chargesheet is the last report submitted at the conclusion of an investigation (offence for which one can be arrested without a warrant; such as rape, murder, kidnapping).

Establishing Guilt:

  • While a chargesheet is full with evidence and is frequently utilised during a trial to substantiate the offences the accused is charged with, a FIR does not determine a person's guilt.

Why are Chargesheets not considered Public Documents?

  • A chargesheet cannot be made public, according to the Court, because it is not a "public document" as defined by Sections 74 and 76 of the Evidence Act, 1872.
  • Public papers are those that are actions or records of sovereign authority, official bodies, tribunals, and public offices, whether legislative, judicial, or executive, in any region of India, the Commonwealth, or a foreign country, according to Section 74. Public records "maintained in any State of private documents" are also included.
  • The public body in charge of them must produce certified copies of the papers indicated in this section as they are solely public records.
  • Under this clause, copies of chargesheets and other necessary public papers are not considered to be public documents.
  • Section 76 specifies that every public official who has custody of such documents must deliver a copy upon request and legal fee payment, together with an attestation certificate that includes the date, seal, name, and position of the officer.
  • All documents other than those mentioned in Section 74 are considered private records under Section 75 of the Evidence Act.

Read Also: Anti-superstition laws

Source: The Hindu

Aditya-L1 Mission

GS-III : S&T Space

Aditya-L1 Mission

  • The first space-based Indian mission to study the Sun will be called Aditya L1.
  • The spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth system's Lagrange point 1, or L1, which is located approximately 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.

About the mission:

  • The Indian Institute of Astrophysics recently handed over the primary payload Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VELC) for Aditya-L1 to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • ISRO will launch the Aditya-L1 mission to place the satellite in the L1 orbit for solar research.
  • Of the seven payloads/telescopes that will be launched on Aditya-L1, the VELC is both the largest and one of the most technically difficult.
  • The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which will carry 7 payloads (instruments) on board, will launch Aditya L1.
  • The spacecraft is equipped with seven payloads that use electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors to study the photosphere, chromosphere, and the Sun's outermost layers (the corona).
  • Four payloads use the unique vantage point L1 to observe the Sun directly, while the remaining three payloads conduct in-situ particle and field studies at the Lagrange point L1. This allows for significant scientific research on the propagation of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

The 7 payloads include:

  • VELC
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
  • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
  • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
  • Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers.

Aditya-L1 is the second space-based project of India, following the successful launch of AstroSat in 2015.

  • The first dedicated Indian astronomy mission, AstroSat, was launched by ISRO in 2015 with the goal of simultaneously studying celestial sources in the X-ray, optical, and UV spectral bands.

The following are the main goals of the Aditya-L1 mission:

  • Study of the dynamics of the solar upper atmosphere (chromosphere and corona).
  • Study of flares, coronal mass ejections, partial ionisation of the plasma, and chromospheric and solar heating
  • Watch the in-situ particle and plasma environment that the Sun provides, since this information will be used to investigate particle dynamics.
  • Physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism.
  • coronal and coronal loops plasma diagnostics: velocity, density, and temperature.
  • CME evolution, dynamics, and genesis.
  • Determine the series of events that take place at various layers (chromosphere, base, and extended corona) and ultimately result in solar eruptive events.
  • Magnetic field measurements and field topologies in the solar corona.
  • Space weather triggers (solar wind origin, composition, and dynamics)

What is L1?

  • L1 stands for Lagrangian/Lagrange Point 1, one of the five places in the Earth-Sun system's orbital plane.
  • Lagrange Points are locations in space where heightened zones of attraction and repulsion are produced by the gravitational forces of a two-body system, such as the Sun and Earth.
  • These can be employed by spacecraft to lower the amount of fuel needed to stay in place.
  • The main benefit of having a satellite in the halo orbit around the L1 is that it can continuously see the Sun without being blocked by clouds or experiencing eclipses.
  • The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO), a project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is located at the L1 point.

What are Lagrangian points?

  • In the three-dimensional space surrounding two massive entities in orbit around one another, there are five Lagrangian points, denoted by the letters L1 through L5.
  • L1, L2, and L3 are unstable equilibrium locations, which means that an object placed there won't stay there without ongoing propulsion. They are situated on a line that connects the two enormous bodies.
  • L4 and L5, on the other hand, are stable equilibrium points, which means an object placed there will remain in that position without propulsion. They are situated at the third corners of a tetrahedron formed by the two massive bodies and their barycenter.

Why was Aditya 1 Mission renamed to Aditya L1 Mission by ISRO?

  • The Aditya-1 mission was intended to simply observe the sun's corona. In solar physics, the cause of Corona heating up to such high temperatures is still a mystery.
  • The satellite was launched on the Aditya-1 mission into an 800 km low earth orbit. Later, ISRO intended to orbit the satellite around the Lagrangian Point in a halo (L1). 1.5 million km separate Earth from L1.
  • The benefit of uninterrupted, continuous observation of the Sun is offered at this site. As a result, the mission was changed to the Aditya L1 mission.

What are the Other Sun-Directed Missions?

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe:

  • The purpose of NASA's Parker Solar Probe is to track the flow of heat and energy through the solar corona and to investigate what causes the solar wind to speed up.
  • It's a component of NASA's "Living with a Star" programme, which investigates several facets of the Sun-Earth system.

Helios 2 Solar Probe:

  • The earlier Helios 2 solar probe, a collaboration between NASA and the West German space agency, came within 43 million kilometres of the Sun's surface in 1976.
  • The ESA (European space agency ) and NASA will work together on the Solar Orbiter project to gather the information that will assist scientists in better understanding how the Sun shapes and regulates the solar system's dynamic space environment.

Source: The Indian Express

Trademark

GS-III : Economic Issues India's Trade Policy

Trademark

  • A case of trademark infringement brought by the international fast food chain Subway against Suberb, a restaurant in Delhi, was recently dismissed by the Delhi High Court.

What is trademark?

  • It is an image, term, or phrase that is used to represent a company. A trademark's owner may assert "exclusive rights" to use it once it has been registered.
  • A trademark is a symbol that can be used to separate the products or services of one company from those of other companies.
  • Governing Bodies in India: The trademark registration process is governed by the Trademark Act of 1999.
  • A trademark that is registered with the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks, generally known as the trademark registration, is guaranteed protection under the Act.
  • A trademark has a ten-year lifespan and may be perpetually renewed by the owner every ten years.

Infringement of a trademark:

  • A registered trademark is violated or infringed upon when used without the consent of the organisation that owns the trademark.
  • It may also be illegal to use a mark that is substantially similar for products or services that are similar.
  • Courts must decide in these situations whether consumers will be confused between the two as a result.

Possible ways to violate a trademark include:

  • Deceptive Similarity: According to the law, a mark is said to be deceptively similar to another mark if it closely resembles that other mark and causes confusion among consumers.
  • Such trickery may be produced aesthetically, architecturally, or phonetically.
  • Passing off is when a brand's logo is spelled incorrectly in a way that is difficult for customers to recognise.
  • In these situations, it is not necessary for the infringing products to be identical; rather, it is enough to prove that the competing traders' goods are comparable in terms of their nature, character, and performance.
  • According to the Supreme Court, passing off is a type of unfair trade competition or actionable unfair dealing in which one person attempts to financially benefit from the reputation that another person has built for himself in a certain trade or industry by deception.

Do you Know?

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is in charge of enforcing the Trademark Law Treaty (TLT).
  • The Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) aims to standardise and simplify processes for regional and national trademark registration.
  • This is accomplished by streamlining and harmonising a few aspects of those processes, which makes the administration of trademark registrations across several countries and the filing of trademark applications less complicated and unpredictable.

Source: Indian express

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