Euthanasia Gets Nod from Supreme Court

A scene from the Bollywood movie Guzaarish, based on Passive Euthanasia, starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai

By Odisha Story Bureau, Bhubaneswar:


The Supreme Court of India today granted a citizen’s right to die with dignity while giving sanction to passive euthanasia and living will.

In a historic verdict, SC said that it has laid down guidelines on who would execute the will and how a nod for passive euthanasia would be granted by the medical board. The apex court added that its guidelines and directives shall remain in force till a legislation is brought to deal with the issue.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said that other members of the five-judge Constitution bench concurred on the guidelines and directives passed by it.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Misra and comprising AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had on 11 October last year reserved its verdict on the plea.

What is Passive Euthanasia?

Passive euthanasia is when doctors or medical experts let a terminally-ill patient die by not doing what’s necessary to keep the patient alive or when they pull the plug.

Passive euthanasia could be carried out by –

not carrying out a life-extending operation.
not providing the patient with life-extending drugs.
switching off life-support machines.
disconnecting a feeding tube.

Active euthanasia, on the other hand, is when doctors intentionally intervene to end a patient’s life. This practice is still illegal in India.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, Editor-in-Chief of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: [email protected]