The Supreme Court judgment on Friday, allowing a person suffering from terminal illness to refuse medical treatment to avoid "protracted physical suffering" drove a wedge between the scientific and religious domains.
Passive euthanasia is when death is brought about by an omission, broadly by withdrawing of medical treatment and life support systems in terminally ill patients who can't express their consent.
The verdict was delivered by a constitution bench comparised with Chief Justice Dipak Misra, justice A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan and is a boost for individual freedom. With all due respect, the Supreme Court can not just make a judgment regarding euthanasia. Thus, it is safe to say the battle is only half won for individuals seeking euthanasia and that only when things start to move smoothly on ground that it will mark a change in their lives.
She added, "Even though we do not have any terminal illness, the fact remains that we have lead a good and satisfactory life and we thoroughly believe that there is nothing more we wish to do". Euthanasia can be active or passive in form and depending in the legal framework of a state, euthanasia is carried out in active or passive manner.
It means medical treatment can be withdrawn to hasten a person's death, if strict guidelines are followed. It is legal in handful of countries namely-Switzerland, Netherland, Canada, certain states in the USA.
A competent committee would comprise doctors, lawyers, social activists and the local administration of the hospital, Trehan said. Like the privacy judgment, the right to die with dignity is a way for courts to support people living life on their own terms rather than being infantilised by government or exploited by commerce. The doctors in most cases will have to consider a case as that of terminally ill nature hence the living will concept needs to be implemented with the active support of the doctors.More news: 3 hostages taken, shots fired at Yountville Veterans Home
The "advance directives" can be issued and executed by "next friend and relatives" of terminally ill people but a medical board to take a final call.
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. He further clarified that while active euthanasia is a crime, same is not the case with passive euthanasia as the element of good faith and objective assessment of the caregiver of the patient will protect doctors performing this task.
The Lavates said the Supreme Court's judgment was irrelevant to them.
The 2015 death of 66-year-old nurse Aruna Shanbaug, who was raped and left in a vegetative state for 42 years, reignited India's national debate over euthanasia. He was seen on the TV lauding the verdict as a "historical ruling" and said, "The whole world takes birth crying, but Mahavira taught us to die laughing".
A person need not give any reasons nor is he answerable to any authority on why he should write an advanced directive.