Supreme Court allows 'living will' with strict guidelines
Supreme Court allows 'living will' with strict guidelines
The order that stipulates guidelines to undergo passive euthanasia could be misused Paikam said
11 March, 2018, 01:32
It is welcome that a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has endorsed, through four separate but concurring judgments, the idea of passive euthanasia, subject to stringent conditions against misuse. A clause "living will" was added to the legal framework involving the case which would empower the terminally ill patients or those in permanent vegetative state (PVS) a graceful end. The court passed this judgment on a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause in 2005 seeking robust system of certification for passive euthanasia and legal recognition for living wills in India.
India's Supreme Court Friday legalised passive euthanasia in a landmark judgment that places the power of choice to live in the hands of an individual.
April 28: Law Commission suggests a draft bill on passive euthanasia and says such pleas be made to HCs which should decide after taking experts' views.
Bhushan said that the apex court verdict "cleared the air on passive euthanasia and living will". The goal and object of advance medical directive is to express the choice of a person regarding medical treatment in an event when he looses capacity to take a The right to execute an advance medical directive is nothing but a step towards protection of aforesaid right by an individual.
The document should also specify the name of the guardian or close relative, who in the event of the person becoming incapable of taking a decision, will be authorised give consent to withdrawal of medical treatment.
"This judgement will allow people to make a decision well in advance without any pressure, by weighing the pros and the cons".
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Passive euthanasia is stopping all kinds of medical treatment to hasten the death of a terminally ill person in order to relieve them of their suffering.
According to the Supreme Court rules, it can be executed only by an adult who is of a sound and healthy state of mind and in a position to communicate, relate and comprehend the objective and consequences of executing the document. The Court's judgement also allows for terminally ill individuals to refuse medical treatment which would include life saving devices.
In October 2017, the bench had then observed that it might recognise the execution of "living will" in cases of passive euthanasia under Article 21 of the Constitution.
The apex court said that chairman of the board nominated by the collector shall convey its decision to the judicial magistrate before giving effect to the decision to withdraw medical treatment to the patient.
Passive Euthanasia is the act of helping a terminally ill person in an indirect manner to speed up his inevitable death.
On 15 January, 2016, the Centre had said the 241st report of the Law Commission stated that passive euthanasia should be allowed with certain safeguards and there was also a proposed law - Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patient (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill, 2006. "That apart, it will strengthen the mind of the treating doctors as they will be in a position to ensure, after being satisfied, that they are acting in a lawful manner", the CJI said. Further a person of competent mental faculty is entitled to execute an advance medical directive in accordance with safeguards as referred.
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