This Article is From Mar 09, 2018

'Living Will' Allowed With Strict Guidelines, Says Supreme Court

Supreme Court decides on right to die with dignity, says persons with terminal illness can make 'living will' for passive euthanasia.

Supreme Court allows passive euthanasia; close family, friend can go to High Court


  • Supreme Court allows passive euthanasia
  • Top Court: Persons with terminal illness can make 'living will'
  • Court can set up medical board to decide if passive euthanasia is needed
New Delhi: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has allowed 'living will' but with strict guidelines. The top court has said the guidelines will remain effective till a law is in place.

A 'living will' is made by a person, in his normal state of mind, seeking voluntary euthanasia in case of terminal illness, if he or she reaches an irreversible vegetative state.

A five judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court said passive euthanasia is permissible; the court has framed detailed guidelines using its extraordinary power.

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.

As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, a family member or friend of the terminally ill person, seeking passive euthanasia can go to the High Court, which will constitute a medical board that will decide if passive euthanasia is needed.