Euthanasia Bill: Parliament may refer to Standing Committee

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New Delhi: The issue of refusing the treatment for paving the way for the death of person who is suffering from the chronic diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state and also the issue of such person’s ‘living will’ is to be considered by the Parliament of India, as asked by the Apex Court of the country.

The decision was taken by the Five- Judges Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India on this Monday, i.e. on 15th day of February, this year. While the bench is comprising of Justice Anil R. Dave, Justice A.K. Goel, Justice. Kurian Joseph, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Rohinton Nariman, it was hearing the petition filed by one NGO Common Cause.

It was noted by the said Five- Judge’s bench of the Top court that the Additional Solicitor General- P. S. Patwalia submitted that the Health Ministry was considering the report of the Law Commission of India for allowing the passive euthanasia. Moreover, it was considered that the Law Ministry will draft the Bill based on the plea for passive euthanasia, for the consideration of the Parliament of India.

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It was also mentioned by the Additional Solicitor General- P. S. Patwalia that the expert committee’s recommendations based the formulation of the legislation on this issue of passive euthanasia was proposed and the Law Ministry has sought the clarification. Moreover, the Parliament of India can also refer the Bill for the wider discussion and consultations by the Standing Committee.

As per the contentions of the said ASG- P. S. Patwalia, the court need to wait till the decision of the Parliament will reach on the ‘living will’ issue, which is also one of the facet of the passive euthanasia.

Moreover, the senior advocate- Bhushan who is appearing for NGO Common Cause contended that the Medical experts have already opined that the persons suffering from the terminal diseases had reached the point from where they could not be returned, as such they should be provided with the Right against the stage of being put on life- supporting systems for prolonging such person’s agony.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan