SC allows living will and passive euthanasia, upholds right to die with dignity


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a living will, or ‘advance directive’, made by terminally-ill patients for passive euthanasia, prescribing guidelines on who can do that when and how.

The court, which also said passive euthanasia is legal, recognised in its judgment the right to die with dignity.

Living will is a written document that allows a patient to give explicit instructions in advance about the medical treatment to be administered when he or she is terminally ill or no longer able to express informed consent. Passive euthanasia is a condition where there is withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient.

A medical board will be set up to determine and carry out any ‘advance directive’, the court said.

In cases where there is no ‘advance directive’, the patient’s family member or next of friend can approach a high court to seek passive euthanasia.



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