Euthansia & personal autonomy rights for the terminally ill
Shah, Dhruv Rajesh
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The objective of this dissertation is to determine the rights of the terminally ill with respect to euthanasia. There are currently no laws which provide for the terminally ill, leaving them to suffer in silence. This dissertation is limited to the rights of terminally ill persons. Further it argues for voluntary euthanasia and more specifically; voluntary passive euthanasia. In conducting this research, the laws of various different states are considered. However, the focus is the Kenyan law on these matters. The primary method is research used in this dissertation is desktop research. Consulting various sources such as textbooks, legislations and online resources. It was found that the laws in Kenya do not make any provisions for euthanasia or the rights of the terminally ill. The law does not permit euthanasia, however, it also does not prohibit it expressly. Since the right to life is not absolute, there is room for interpretation and exceptions to be made. The research found that if a hardline approach is taken with the right to life, it will curtail the rights of the terminally ill. Therefore it would be better to avoid such strong approaches in interpretations. The recommendation is to make provisions for the rights of the terminally ill. To stop their pain and suffering by providing them with a means to escape their pain and suffering should they choose to do so. It is also recommended that the state puts in place systems to ensure that any such rights given to the terminally ill are not abused. This should balance the rights of the terminally ill as well as the concern of those who strongly oppose it.