Supreme Court: “Death Can Be Celebration”
The Indian Supreme Court in a landmark decision on passive euthanasia confirmed on 9, March 2018 the right to die with dignity. While the court’s decision deals with practical legal matters of a ‘living will’ and ‘rights to remove life support of a terminal ill person,’ the language used in the lengthy decision is remarkable. The five-judge panel go way beyond legal facts and reason their decision in unusual and lengthy ‘non-legal’ language.
“When the sanctity of life is destroyed, should we not allow them to cross the door and meet death with dignity? For some, even their death could be a moment of celebration,” said the group of five judges including Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
The area of the end of life has for thousands of years been dominated by religions and by government interference which has prolonged suffering, given superstitious meaning to suffering, and deprived people of an important moment in their lives. Osho has been a strong promoter of an end of life which hands responsibility and control back to the individual and frees it from the hands of priests and politicians – the mafia of the soul.
Death as an opportunity for celebration is foreign to most cultures and religions – they might talk about it but the reality is different and death is covered and managed usually by rituals and formalities which distract from the real happenings. In Osho’s community death is celebrated as a peak of life event.
OSHO: Yes, We Celebrate Death Too
The Indian Supreme Court has taken an amazing step in the right direction, the judges not only opened the door legally to a more dignifying way of dying, they pointed at a direction Osho has been speaking about for many years – that the end of life should be celebrated and in context with euthanasia made easy and beautiful, including a conscious preparation with meditation and any support needed. Osho has spoken in many of his talks about this.
“Euthanasia, or the freedom to choose your death, should be accepted as a birthright of every human being.…
“Euthanasia will be with the permission of the medical board. One month’s rest in the hospital – every kind of help that can be given to the person to become calm and quiet… all friends coming to meet him, his wife, his children, because he is going on a long journey. There is no question of preventing him – he has lived long, and he does not want to go on living, his work is finished.
“And he should be taught meditation in this one month, so that he can do meditation while death comes. And for death, medical help should be given so it comes like a sleep — slowly slowly, side by side with meditation, sleep going deeper. We can change thousands of people’s deaths into enlightenment.…
“And euthanasia is becoming more and more a need, because with medical science progressing, people are living longer.…
“In America, there are thousands of people in hospitals just lying in their beds with all kinds of instruments connected to them. Many are on artificial breathing machines. What is the point? There are many people dying on the streets, starving?
“Thirty million people in America are on the streets without shelter, without food, without clothes, and thousands of people are taking up hospital beds, doctors, nurses – their work, their labor, medicines. Everybody knows they will die sooner or later, but as long as you can you should keep them alive.
“They want to die. They shout that they want to die, but the doctor cannot help in that. These people certainly need some rights; they are being forced to live, and force is in every way undemocratic.
“So I want it to be a very rational thing. Make it seventy-five or eighty years; then life is lived enough. The children are grown up… when you are eighty your children will be fifty, fifty-five; they are getting old. Now there is no need for you to be bothered and worried. You are retired; now you are simply a burden, you don’t know what to do.…
“They should be given freedom, but not only to die; they should be given the freedom of one month’s training in how to die. In that training, meditation should be a basic part and physical care should be a basic part. They should die healthy, whole, silent and peaceful – slowly slipping deep into sleep.
“And if meditation is joined with sleep, they may die enlightened. They may know that only the body is left behind, and they are part of eternity.
“Their death will be better than ordinary death, because in ordinary death, you don’t have the chance of becoming enlightened. In special institutes for death where every arrangement is made, you can leave life in a joyous, ecstatic way, with gratitude.
“Their death will be better than the ordinary death, because in the ordinary death you don’t have the chance of becoming enlightened. In fact more and more people will prefer to die in the hospitals, in the special institutes for death where every arrangement is made. You can leave life in a joyous, ecstatic way, with great thankfulness and gratitude.
“I am all for euthanasia, but with these conditions.”
Abridged from Osho, Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Talk #1
Osho Times International/ Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com