Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

SC upholds right to die with dignity for terminally ill

SC upholds right to die with dignity for terminally ill SC upholds right to die with dignity for terminally ill
Charlie Simmons | 10 March, 2018, 01:41

When the sanctity of life was destroyed, said a panel of five judges headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, "Should we not allow them to cross the door and meet death with dignity?" Here is a timeline that shows the development of this case:May 11, 2005: The apex court took note of a Public Interest Litigation by NGO Common Cause, which sought allowing terminally-ill persons to execute a "living will" for passive euthanasia.

In one of the historical judgements passed by the Supreme Court, a bench of five-judges on Friday passed a judgment making passive Euthanasia permissible but with proper guidelines. Its guidelines and directives shall remain in force till a legislation is brought to deal with the issue, says the apex court.

A living will is a document prepared by a person in their healthy/sound state of mind under which they can specify in advance whether or not they would like to opt for artificial life support, if he/she is in a vegetative state due to an irreversible terminal illness in the future. Our NGO wanted the concept of a living will which is an advanced directive when a patient, who is in control, prepares the will before he is terminally ill and chooses to not stay in a vegetative state.

Minakshi Biswas, research scholar and expert on euthanasia, said however that there are many factors to be considered before allowing passive euthanasia. February 11, 2014: DMC filed a copy of proceedings of International Workshop for Policy Statement on Euthanasia in India and SC reserved the verdict. It includes authorizing his/her family to withdraw life support system in case a medical board declared that they were beyond medical help.

Today's judgment lays down the exact procedure for drafting and approving such living wills.

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"To deprive an individual of dignity at the end of life is to deprive him of meaningful existence", the Bench said.

The Supreme Court of Indian has passed an order allowing passive euthanasia in the country.

Passive Euthanasia was made legal in India under exceptional circumstances. With all due respect, the Supreme Court can not just make a judgment regarding euthanasia.

Passive euthanasia will apply only to a terminally ill person with no hope of recovery, the top court said. It's commonly seen in terminal patients who are mentally conscious. "Most patients in public hospitals support the decision not to use life-support systems when we explain the prognosis".

On November 27, 1973, Aruna Shanbaug, a junior nurse at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai was sodomised and brutally assaulted by a janitor working in the same hospital.

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