Right to Die with Dignity: Euthanasia- Law and Case Laws

SC Grants 'Right to Die with Dignity'

On the date of 9th March 2018, Friday. The Supreme Court Allows Passive Euthanasia. And also the Supreme Court allows a person to draft “Living Will” for refusing life support. Person’s “Living Will” can refuse life support if one slips into coma. 5-Jude constitutional bench in favor of Passive Euthanasia. In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court recognized the Right to Die with Dignity and legalized Passive Euthanasia on 9th March 2018, Friday. A Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Kumar Mishra, Justice AK Sikri, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud, and  Justice Ashok Bhushan, passed the verdict on the plea to allow "Living Will" that will authorize the withdrawal of all life support system if in the opinion of the doctors he has reached an irreversible stage of a terminal illness. 

A "Living Will" or a person's right to choose death over life support in case of an incurable disease was recognized by the Supreme Court in a landmark decision that allows passive euthanasia with strict guidelines. "Human being has the right to die with dignity," said the verdict by Chief Justice Dipak Kumar Mishra.

The plea was opposed by the center in 2011, but in 2018 allowed by SC. 

Why the “Living Will” is accepted, 
Case 1:-
In 2008 there is one case related Euthanasia, in UP there was a father who had four sons and they all suffered from muscular dystrophy means below the neck they all were paralyzes. And whatever the basic needs are like washroom, drinking water, etc they were not able to do these things they all were depends on their family. So when his father was an appeal to the president for Euthanasia to his son.

Case 2:- 
In 2010 one more case came in that there were one old woman who suffered from slip disk and due to this she was in acquit pain and there was no person who takes care of that woman. So the she also appeals for Euthanasia.

Case 3:-
 In In 2013 one more case, there is Danish Kumar who had one child and that child was a vegetative state from birth. And the doctors also not getting the reason behind that.  So that person appeal for Euthanasia.

Case 4:-

What is Euthanasia
Intentionally ending a life in order to relive pain and suffering 

Two Types of Euthanasia:

1. Active Euthanasia - When a person is killed by given medicine or overdose of pain-killed. It's called Active Euthanasia. 

2. Passive Euthanasia - When a patient's life support system is removed, if the patient has been sick for a long time and his breathing is running on the support system only. So, after removing his life support system, he dies.

The Supreme Court has recognized this Passive Euthanasia with this Supreme Court has also given approval to 'Living Will'.

What is "Living Will"
Living Will - When a person has already written in writing what kind of treatment he/she should get if he reaches the death status. If a medical board has said this, the patient can only be kept alive on the live support system. So the "Living Will" gives his/her family the right to ask her to close his/her life support system. But for this, there is mandatory for approval by medical boar.
 . So far it was not so in our country. For this, the discourse was on for a long time. but it has happened on Friday, 9th March.

.Common Act (Congo) - A Petition is filed on this. This petition was filed in 2005 and has now been decided in 2018

Guideline for "Living Will" writing
       The Supreme Court itself has provided guidelines for advance directives and passive Euthanasia. 
1. The Court held that advance directives can only by issued by adults of sound minds with informed consent which should be free of coercion 
2. It further provides that the advance directives must be clear, specific and unambiguous. 
3. It also allows for a person to nominate a next of kin to provided consent for Passive Euthanasia in case the persons themselves are incapable of doing so.
4. The Court has mandated that the written documents must be signed and witnessed by at least two people.
5. The advance directive would also require the signature of a Judicial  Magistrate.

Doctors are also required to verify the authenticity of the advance of directives from the Judicial Magistrate before acting upon the same. The doctor must inform the guardian or close relatives of the patient and notify them of the Diagnosis of disease and the status of treatment. 

Process for approval
1. The hospital, where the patient is admitted is required to constitute an appropriate medical board to assess the patient's condition and provide their preliminary opinion.
2. the said opinion has to be forwarded to the District Collector. 
3. Then the District collector, in turn, has to convene another medical board to visit the patient and to provide its opinion on whether advance directive needs to be act upon or not.
4. If the second medical board agrees with this, with the preliminary opinion. 
5. Then forward to the Judicial Magistrate of that jurisdiction to confirm the same. 
6. then the Magistrate must visit the patient and give his/her final approval for execution of advance directives and approve the same.  
7. If the board certifies it, the hospital should inform the collector who will set up another medical board with the chief district medical officer as the chairman and three experts from the field mentioned earlier and with experience of over 20 years.
8. If opinions differ, then the patient's nominee, family member, the treating doctor or hospital staff can move the high court for permission to withdraw life support.


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