The Supreme Court Relaxes Passive Euthanasia Regulations

Context - 

The Supreme Court of India amended the guidelines governing passive euthanasia to make the process less complicated and time-consuming.

What are the Significant Guidelines Changes?

  • The Supreme Court modified the prior decision to eliminate the need for a judicial magistrate to testify or countersign a living will.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that an attestation by a notary or a gazetted authority is necessary for a person to form a lawful living will.
  • Instead of the living being in the custody of the relevant district court, the Supreme Court stated that the document would become a part of the National Health Digital Record, which may be viewed by hospitals and physicians anywhere in the nation.
  • The patient's family may file a complaint with the appropriate high court, which will appoint a new board of medical specialists to help it make a final decision if the hospital's medical board has denied authorization to stop medical treatment.

Describe Passive Euthanasia:


  • The act of withholding or withdrawing medical care, such as withholding or removing life support, to let a person die is known as passive euthanasia.
  • Active euthanasia, in contrast, entails an active intervention to end a person's life with drugs or an outside force, such as giving a deadly injection.

India's practice of euthanasia includes:

  • The Supreme Court of India legalized passive euthanasia in 2018 in a landmark decision, using the concept of a "living will."
  • Under some situations, an adult may refuse medical care or freely opt not to receive medical treatment from embracing death naturally, according to the judgement.
  • It also established criteria for 'living wills' prepared by terminally ill individuals aware of their possibilities of entering a permanent vegetative state.
  • "Dignity in the process of dying is as much an element of the right to life under Article 21," the court declared. Depriving a person of dignity at the end of life deprives the person of a meaningful existence."

Several nations that practice euthanasia:

  • Euthanasia and assisted suicide are both legal in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium for anybody experiencing "unbearable agony" with no possibility of relief.
  • Switzerland forbids euthanasia, but permits assisted suicide when a doctor or medical professional is present.
  • Euthanasia and assisted suicide will be legal in Canada for mentally ill people by March 2023, the decision has drawn heavy criticism, and the implementation date may be postponed.
  • In the United States, each state has its own set of laws. Some states, including Washington, Oregon, and Montana, permit euthanasia.



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