August 17, 2018

Passive euthanasia: SC reserves verdict, may recognise living will

12 October 2017, 05:03 | Randall Craig

A view of the Supreme court in New Delhi India

A view of the Supreme court in New Delhi India

On Tuesday, the ASG had told the court that although the government supports passive euthanasia, it is opposed in principle to allowing living will, as it can be misused in the case of elders, etc.

Debating the question of law, the Chief Justice then observed that one can not say that you have a right to die (suicide), but you have a right to dignified death.

He cited examples of various countries in disallowing creation of living will by patients. "Under Article 21 of Constitution, a person has the right to die peacefully without any suffering and therefore he has right to create a living will that when he can't recover from illness, his life should not be prolonged", Bhushan said.

The Panel will decide whether or not passive euthanasia can be granted to the patient.

The long-debated concept of euthanasia and living will, which is not allowed in India yet, is now being deliberated by a five-bench Constitution Bench based on a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, for the NGO Common Cause. "But we recognise that every individual has a right to die with dignity, i.e. the process of end of life must be dignified".

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by CJI Dipak Misra dropped loud hints on Wednesday on devising a mechanism to legitimise a "living will" even as it said it would not revisit its six-year-old ruling permitting passive euthanasia.

The PIL filed in 2005 said when a medical expert opines that the person afflicted with a terminal disease has reached a point of no return then he should be given the right to refuse being put on life support system as it would only prolong his agony otherwise.

The draft Bill proposes that if a patient is granted passive euthanasia, a living will of the concerned patient "shall become void and shall not be binding on any medical practitioner".

Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for an intervenor NGO "Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy", said that the top court has recognised the distinction between the active termination of life and the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment with the latter firmly recognised as an expression of autonomy, bodily integrity and right to life.

A person's written directive will come into effect when the person is no longer sound of mind to communicate his wishes about desired medical treatment.

Article 21 provides that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law". If the board says that she could be revived from an apparent hopeless medical condition, the living will would not be taken into account, it added.

Making a distinction between Active and Passive Euthanasia, it said the guidelines should be followed all over India until Parliament passes legislation on the matter.

Justice Chandrachud also pointed out that a living will is "not postulated on the right to die but on the right to live, as the person is actually saying he wants to live only till he can without outside support".

The draft Bill outlines the guidelines and framework under passive euthanasia where doctors could withdraw treatment to a terminally-ill patient.

Other News

Trending Now

'White widow' British IS recruiter killed
The warped mum reportedly used her 12-year-old son, Jojo, as a human shield to protect herself when she ventured outside. Jones also encouraged people to carry out attacks in Britain, offering guidance on how to construct home-made bombs.

Nokia 9 renders hint at curved edge screen
Today, we've come across a fresh leak suggesting that HMD Global has another high-end Nokia in the works, the Nokia 9. I'm pleased to be the bearer of three promising pieces of news regarding the Nokia Android phones today.

Trump Iran deal plan risks opening nuclear 'Pandora's box'
Some top figures in Congress are already deeply skeptical of the Trump effort to kill the deal, with Rep. So far Trump has certified the accord but said the next deadline on Sunday is the crucial one.

Movies Anywhere finally brings your digitally purchased movies together in one place
According to Gilford, customers can also access their library on the new service (Disney Movies Anywhere will be phased out). Though Movies Anywhere is restricted in the United States , it does allow for access internationally if you are traveling.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) Shares Bought by Advent Capital Management DE
Boston Private Wealth Ltd Limited Liability Company owns 0.07% invested in Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE: FCX ) for 139,989 shares. This number is based on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 indicates a Strong Buy recommendation while 5 represents a Strong Sell.

After Visiting 'Miracle' Babies in Hospital, Tragedy for Mom
She was returning home from visiting her twin daughters, Hannah and Sarah , who were not even 8 weeks old yet, the page stated. The update continued that the twins "are doing surprisingly well", and are expected to go home in 4 to 6 weeks.

Brahmastra: Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt's new trilogy
So, for those who are unaware, " Brahmastra " is a Sanskrit word which means an astra (weapon) created by Lord Brahma. It is directed by Anurag Singh and features Akshay Kumar in the lead role and will be releasing during Holi 2019.

What Radamel Falcao Really Said To Peru Midfielder Renato Tapia Revealed
He told Panamericana Television: "We were focused on the game and then in the final five minutes the Colombians approached us". Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Davinson Sanchez is celebrating after leading Colombia to World Cup qualification.

New Android Wear 2.0 Features Can Now Arrive Via Play Store
We're working with our carrier and device partners to bring this experience to more Android devices over time. Google is making it easier for users to make video calls using its own video calling app - Duo.

Family held captive by Taliban-linked group released
The couple were last seen in a video released in December past year where they pleaded for their governments to help free them. When the couple will return stateside is unclear, a US official told the Associated Press .