Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

'Living Will' Allowed With Strict Guidelines, Says Supreme Court

'Living Will' Allowed With Strict Guidelines, Says Supreme Court

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra passed the order allowing passive Euthanasia with guidelines.

The SC permitted an individual to prepare a living will that will authorise the withdrawal of all life support systems, albeit with the permission his or her family members along with a team of expert doctors who say that the person's revival is practically impossible.

But passive euthanasia, the withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten a terminally ill patient's death was allowed by the Supreme Court in Friday's landmark verdict.

Chief Justice Misra, in a common judgment with Justice AM Khanwilkar, said it was time to "alleviate the agony of an individual" and stand by his right to a dignified passing.

But the judge held that active euthanasia is unlawful.

In a landmark judgement the country's apex court has allowed passive euthanasia.However the Supreme Court has also set strict guidelines to be followed when it is permitted.

ReadyWisconsin Reminders For Daylight Saving Time
The day when clocks spring forward for Daylight Saving Time is also the time recommended for checking smoke detectors. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable, long-life batteries are created to remain effective for up to 10 years.

#BRUHNews: South African Triathlete Attacked With Chainsaw, Will Walk Again
Olympian Henri Shoeman, who won bronze for South Africa in 2016, also sent his well wishes to Gwala. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old underwent surgery at a private hospital.

Karnataka government approves state flag, to seek approval from Centre
The proposal will be now sent to the Union Home Ministry for approval since a State has no powers to announce its own flag. The panel had later submitted a report to the Siddaramaiah government on the state flag getting legal sanctity.

In the case of an unconscious person who suffers from a terminal illness or a life-threatening injury, doctors and hospitals consult his living will to determine whether or not the patient wants life-sustaining treatment, such as assisted breathing or tube feeding. "Recognition of the right to accept or refuse medical treatment is founded upon autonomy".

In the event the executor becomes terminally ill and is undergoing prolonged medical treatment with no hope of recovery and cure of the ailment, the treating physician, when made aware about the advance directive, shall ascertain the genuineness and authenticity thereof from the jurisdictional JMFC before acting upon the same. However, when the medical professionals let the patient die by not doing something that can prolong his life or stop doing something that is prolonging the patient's life such as putting him off life support, it's passive euthanasia. The plea sought declaration of the right to die with dignity as a Fundamental Right under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Indian Constitution.

The Centre had also told the Constitution Bench that a draft bill permitting passive euthanasia with necessary safeguards was already before it for consideration.

"As the end of life approaches, a loss of control over human faculties denudes life of its meaning".

"Everybody will breathe a sigh of relief, because people were earlier apprehensive that if they withdrew life support, they could be prosecuted for culpable homicide", he added. Previously, all forms of euthanasia were illegal.

A patient refusing treatment merely allows the disease to take its natural course and if, in this process, death occurs, the cause for it would primarily be the underlying disease and not any self initiated act, it said.

Like this: