Yesterday, the Supreme Court (SC) of India allowed passive euthanasia legally valid across the country. The SC of the country, at the same time, allowed the citizens to make `living will` in which they can authorize family members in advance to let them die.
A five-member bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice of India, announced the verdict after a US-based NGO named `Common Clause` filed an appeal on the issue. It had long been seeking the right for patients who are afflicted with terminal diseases ‘to die with dignity’.
The top court recognized the plea of the NGO and agreed that a patient with a terminal illness has the right to die only to escape from the agony. However, the SC bench gave four types of opinions containing 538-page of documents of the judgment. But they all agreed that the `Living Will` should be allowed.
The verdict depicted, ‘If someone does not wish to live any longer after going into a coma then we should not drag his/her life by life support." The verdict also mentioned that the decision on whether a patient can recover from coma should be made through forming a medical board.
Furthermore, if any patient does not make `living will` and the doctors declared his illness incurable; but if the patient is not in a position to make a decision, then any of his relatives can apply for permission to passive euthanasia. On the basis of the application, the court will summon the medical board to ensure the necessity for euthanasia.
It is to be noted that under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, there is a provision of a maximum one-year prison sentence for the suicide attempt.