'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.

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

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Supreme Court allows passive euthanasia
  2. Top Court: Persons with terminal illness can make 'living will'
  3. Court can set up medical board to decide if passive euthanasia is needed
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.

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