In what is being seen as a big move made by the Supreme Court, it has allowed the execution of ‘living will’ and the right to die with dignity – passive euthanasia, with certain strict guidelines to be followed until the Centre brings in a legislation.
A constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, gave the 5-0 ruling. “Human beings have the right to die with dignity,” the bench said while announcing the ruling.
Some key takeaways are:
· One can draft a ‘living will’ specifying that they not be put on life support if they slip into an incurable coma. This ‘will’ needs to be made when the person is of sound mind.
· Passive euthanasia will be applicable only to those who suffer from terminal illness and have no hope of recovery.
· The Supreme Court will constitute a medical board, to consider cases of passive euthanasia.
· A family member or friend of the terminally ill patient seeking passive euthanasia will have to approach the High Court and seek permission from the Medical Board.
The guidelines are still coming in and this article will be updated once the order is available in the public domain.