The order was passed by a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan on a plea by an NGO "Common Cause". Journalist Pinki Virani had fought for her right to die with dignity, which was ultimately denied by the Supreme Court.
People on social media have come in enormous support of the decision, stating that its encouraging for people who have to suffer pain, and don't want to live any longer because prolonged illness that incurable or if they're in an irreversible coma or vegetative state.
"A awful, painful death on a rational but incapacitated terminally ill patient are an affront to human dignity".
A typical LW takes effect when the person is terminally ill without chance of recovery and outlines the desire to withhold heroic measures.
A living will is a written document that allows a patient with deteriorating health or the terminally ill to choose not to 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. "Meanwhile, a law on passive euthanasia is on the ambit", additional solicitor general, P.S. Narasimha, who had represented the Centre, said after the ruling.
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If the collector's board refuses permission, the family or friends can move the high court which will examine the case with the help of an independent medical board before taking a call.
Today's judgment lays down the exact procedure for drafting and approving such living wills. 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. With all due respect, the Supreme Court can not just make a judgment regarding euthanasia.
But this can be done only after permission from all family members and a medical board created to look into the case is received.
It means medical treatment can be withdrawn to hasten a person's death, if strict guidelines are followed.
In 2015, the death of a 66-year-old nurse Aruna Shanbaug, who was sexually assaulted and left in a vegetative state for more than 40 years, had sparked a national debate over the legalisation of euthanasia. "Most patients in public hospitals support the decision not to use life-support systems when we explain the prognosis".
On January, 15, 2016, the government had said the 241st report of the Law Commission stated that passive euthanasia should be allowed with certain safeguards.