Euthanasia Mercy Killing

SC Constitution Bench holds passive euthanasia, living wills permissible

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization & functioning of the Executive & the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Passive euthanasia, fundamental right to life and dignity

Mains level: SC judgments and laws related to euthanasia


Passive euthanasia permissible

  1. In a historic decision, the Supreme Court declared passive euthanasia and the right of persons, including the terminally-ill, to give advance directives to refuse medical treatment permissible
  2. A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India upheld that the fundamental right to life and dignity includes right to refuse treatment and die with dignity
  3. The fundamental right to a “meaningful existence” includes a person’s choice to die without suffering

Guidelines given

  1. The judgment includes specific guidelines to test the validity of a living will, by whom it should be certified, when and how it should come into effect, etc
  2. The guidelines also cover a situation where there is no living will and how to approach a plea for passive euthanasia
  3. A person need not give any reasons nor is he answerable to any authority on why he should write an advanced directive
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