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Centre opposes ‘Living Will’ concept, asks Supreme Court to monitor

Team SoOLEGAL 11 Oct 2017 1:00pm

Centre opposes ‘Living Will’ concept, asks Supreme Court to monitor

“A living will, also called a directive to physicians or advance directive, is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions”.

The central government on Tuesday has opposed the concept of “living Will” and told the Supreme Court to monitor the pros and cons of this practice. It is prone to misuse and it is not possible to allow a terminally-ill patient to leave a “living will”, refusing to be subjected to painful treatment or artificial life support. It might not be a good policy as the issue was far more complicated given the cultural, religious and legal systems in India.

The issue was raised before a constitutional bench of five judges of the Supreme Court in a PIL filed by an NGO named “common cause”. The petitioner saidthat a “living will” or Advance authorization can be given by a patient who has no hope for recovery from his terminally-ill condition.

Additional solicitor general PS Narsimha informed the court that there was already a law on passive euthanasia and the government had drafted a ‘management of patients with terminal illness-withdrawal of medical life support bill’.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachurd and Ashok Bhushan reacted over the submission and said, “To die peacefully without pain and suffering is a facet of Article 21 (Right to Life) as quoted in The Pioneer.  

Tagged: Supreme Court Of India   Will  
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