The decision was announced by a five-judge Costitution bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. "Right to live with human dignity" would mean existence of such a right up to the end of natural life.
By executing a living will, a person with deteriorating health or the terminally ill can express his willingness to not remain in a vegetative state with life support system if he/she goes into a state when it will not be possible for them to express their wishes.
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Ruling says citizens can draft living will refusing treatment in case of coma or terminal illness. 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. February 15, 2016: Centre claims deliberating the issue of passive euthanasia. Here's how doctors view the nuances and practical aspects of the euthanasia debate.
Passive euthanasia entails a patient being allowed to die by limiting medical intervention, not escalating already aggressive treatment, withholding or withdrawing artificial life support in cases that are judged to be medically futile. The Supreme Court denoted,"Human beings have the right to die with dignity".
However, the court stated that a strict set of guidelines should be framed to ensure that the clause of "living will" is not misused. In the absence of a living will, it would be the discretion of family and doctors to decide if they want the patient to be taken off life support.
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The Supreme court, in what is a being considered a landmark decision, passed a judgement that would make it possible for people to opt for Passive Euthanasia, but with some guidelines that would have to be followed to achieve it. Integrity and ethical conduct of the medical and legal professions need supplementary fortification, on matters beyond passive euthanasia as well. The apex court has also laid down the rules, explaining who should execute the will and how the request for euthanasia can be granted.
Earlier this year, an elderly couple from Mumbai had written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking permission for "active euthanasia", involves helping a person die on his or her request "through direct action".
The 2011 judgement had put the onus on doctors to petition to withdraw life support, under the supervision of the courts.
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The Constitution Bench has issued safety guidelines on passive euthanasia.