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The SC Has Allowed Passive Euthanasia “Living Will”, In The Landmark Case…

The Supreme Court has allowed ‘living will’ but with strict guidelines, In a landmark verdict. The top court has said, “the guidelines will remain effective till a law is in place.”

A person in his normal state of mind makes ‘living will’, seeking voluntary euthanasia in case of fatal illness if he or she reaches a permanent vegetative state.

“Passive euthanasia is permissible; the court has framed detailed guidelines using its extraordinary power.” said a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court.

The terminally ill people can issue ‘advance directives’ and make it executed by ‘next friend and relatives’  but a medical board to take a final call.

As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, “a family member or friend of the terminally ill person, seeking passive euthanasia can go to the High Court, which will constitute a medical board that will decide if passive euthanasia is needed.”

The NGO who approached the court looking for a direction for the identification of a ‘living will’ and competed that when a medical expert said that a person afflicted with the terminal disease had reached a point of no return, then they should be given the right to refuse being put on life support.

The petition reads “How can a person be told that he/she does not have right to prevent torture on his body? Right to life includes right to die with dignity. A person cannot be forced to live on a support of the ventilator. Keeping a patient alive by artificial means against his/her wishes is an assault on his/her body,”

However, the Centre had told the court that “the government had in principle decided to decriminalise attempt to suicide which at present is an offence punishable by up to one-year jail term under Section 309 of Indian Penal Code.”

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