December 12, 2018

SC Legalizes Passive Euthanasia: Right to Die With Dignity

11 March 2018, 01:30 | Ross Houston

SC Legalizes Passive Euthanasia: Right to Die With Dignity

How sexual assault victim Aruna Shanbaug's case started the national debate on euthanasia

Hence it was inevitable that the Supreme Court judges, as they made their pronouncements on legalising passive euthanasia, should draw inspiration from some of the immortal words articulated on the topic down the ages.

In the process of building a constitutional link between right to life and right to die, the Supreme Court said the economics of extending the life of a terminally ill person with no hope of revival did not make sense in a country where the majority is not able to afford health services.

Parliamentarian Baijayant Jay Panda, who moved a Private Members Bill regarding passive euthanasia in 2016, told YourStory, "I've long supported the right of terminally ill patients to die with dignity, should they wish to, instead of lingering on in pain".

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra said passive euthanasia and advance living will are "permissible". The living will is defined as the person's right to issue a pre directive where in which he or she allows the withdrawal of life support or discontinuation of medicine if a situation arises in future of person being in a terminally ill state.

Though it ultimately refused to do so in 2011, it did pass a landmark judgment back then that opened the door for passive euthanasia in the rarest of rare cases. People now will be allowed to grant a living power of attorney to another.

Though the government took the lead in decriminalising suicide and is ready with a draft legislation formalising passive euthanasia, it struck a contradictory note in opposing living wills, essentially a person's desire to exit from life at a point of no return.

In active euthanasia, a specific overt act is performed to end the patient's life whereas in passive euthanasia, something is not done that would be necessary to preserve a patient's life, the panel noted.

Woman arrested by ICE in front of children
Immigration activists identified the woman as Perla Morales, and said the girls in the video were her daughters. Rios did not know the ages of the daughters but said at least one of them is a minor.

Travel alert to Playa del Carmen scaled back
Canada has also updated its travel advisory for Mexico, urging its citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution". That incident came about a week after an explosive device detonated on another ferry, injuring several passengers.

David Chase developing prequel to The Sopranos
Fans hoping to see the beloved Tony Soprano may not have their wishes fulfilled, since the star of the series James Gandolfini died in 2013.

"Human beings have the right to die with dignity", the court said, while hearing a plea on the issue by a non-government organisation.

The apex court also laid down guidelines as to who could execute the advance directive and how, what should it contain, how should it be recorded and preserved, when and by whom can it be given effect to, what if permission is refused by the medical board and also in the event of revocation or inapplicability of advance directive.

The Press Trust of India news agency said that in each living will, a court-appointed medical panel will review the instructions before they can be carried out. It can be executed only by a person with a sound mind, containing absolute, clear and unambiguous terms and also specify the person who can execute it. "Most patients in public hospitals support the decision not to use life-support systems when we explain the prognosis".

Passive euthanasia entails withdrawing artificial life support causing the death of a person who is in a permanent vegetative state, with no chance of recovery.

The apex court also laid down similar guidelines for cases where there is no advance directive.

While these should do for the time being, Parliament should lose no time in legislating on the subject, arriving at safeguard conditions, the means of their enforcement and the penalties for subverting these conditions on medical professionals and family members of the patient undergoing passive euthanasia, after proper deliberation.

Other News

Trending Now

Ex-spokesman says for Texas, Ted Cruz is a moderate
Cruz argued in an interview on "New Day" earlier Wednesday that O'Rourke can not win in Texas with his pro-gun control stances. Democrats and Republicans both are looking at a huge turnout of voters in the state's primary elections on Tuesday.

'Couldn't care less' about US election interference: Russian President Vladimir Putin
Putin said Russian Federation has neither the tools nor the will to meddle in elections. "At least send us a piece of paper". The interview was aired on Friday evening, days before the 2018 Russian presidential election.

Palestinian killed in West Bank clashes with Israeli forces
Since last December, Palestinians have staged frequent demonstrations in the occupied territories to protest U.S. People carry the body of Mohammed Ja'barai during his funeral in the West Bank city of Hebron, on March 9, 2018.

Jarvis Landry signs franchise tag with Dolphins, reports say
The Dolphins are reportedly set to trade Landry to the Browns , with Miami receiving two draft picks, one in 2018 and one in 2019. The Dolphins franchise-tagged Landry , because they didn't want to lose the receiver without getting compensation.

Amazon's Alexa randomly laughs at users and nobody knows why
With Follow-Up Mode , the digital assistant listens for five seconds after she's finished responding. Amazon said that Alexa now has a new feature which lets users say the words "stop" and "thank you".

One officer killed, another wounded during California SWAT situation
The second officer is expected to survive, Bergner said. "The other officer is in serious condition and is undergoing surgery". The unidentified officers had responded to a report that someone was barricaded inside a house, the Merced Sun-Star reported .

Man City's Gabriel Jesus admits knee injury still lingers in his mind
His side reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-2 aggregate victory over the Swiss club. Manager Guardiola sees the game as an important test of his players' focus.

Ligue 1: Emery was expecting PSG sacking reports to emerge
The Paris Saint-Germain forward is now nursing an ankle injury which kept him out of the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid . The future for me is tomorrow. "But today, I work as if I would stay here all my life".

'Let them call you racists,' Bannon tells far-right French party
Le Pen's performance in a pre-election debate with Macron was seen as one of the main reasons her party was defeated. The showing of the League, a National Front ally, "is a new step in the awakening of the people", Le Pen tweeted.

Gauri Lankesh murder: Special Investigation Team arrests man linked to right-wing group
AVM Vedhmurthy, legal counsel for Naveen Kumar, said the police did not have any substantial charges against his client. The SIT has made a decision to transfer the case of Kumar's plot to eliminate K S Bhagawan to the Mysuru police.