New Delhi: Pretty much of the view that active euthanasia was akin to suicide, the Supreme Court has said that it was not permissible.
Point to be noted here is that the Centre, which concurred with the top court’s observation, then submitted that it was ready with a draft Bill to permit passive euthanasia under strict regulation and guidelines.
A five-judge Constitution Bench was quite proactive in the approach with regard to the issue of active euthanasia or assisted suicide, which is not allowed in India so far. The SC was considering the concept of a living will, which refers to a terminally ill patient’s right to refuse treatment and his or her permission.
At this juncture, the debate in the SC was initiated by a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, for the NGO Common Cause.
The draft Bill on the issue outlines the guidelines and framework under which passive euthanasia can be allowed.
“Passive euthanasia is permissible. Guidelines outlined in the Aruna Shanbaug judgment are applicable till a law comes in to place. As a public policy, tentatively, this Bill will not be beneficial for us,” Additional Solicitor General, representing the Centre, PS Narasimha informed the Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are acceptable in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium.