Supreme Court allows passive euthanasia for terminally ill patient, recognizes living will

New Delhi: The five judges constitution bench of Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of India today in a landmark judgement passed an order allowing passive euthanasia and recognized “living will” (advance directive) made by terminally-ill patients who are likely to go into a permanent vegetative state. The Supreme Court also laid down guidelines for the same, including who would execute the will and how nod for passive euthanasia would be granted by the medical board. The guidelines will be in force till legislation is passed by Parliament to deal with the issue. The five judges had written four separate judgments expressing their views, but concurred on allowing passive euthanasia and advance directive. The CJI’s judgment said the heart of the matter is whether law permits the acceleration of death without suffering.

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