Treatment of terminally ill patients and death with dignity bill, 2018: Legalizing assisted suicide in India through a concrete legislation
Dr. Vrushti Patel
The verdict of the Common Cause Registered Society v. Union of India brought a ray of new hopes for the patients suffering from terminal illness. The verdict respected the human dignity and reaffirmed the Common Law right of patient’s autonomy over his body, hence allowed withdrawal of life support system under exceptional circumstances. The Court also tried to give a legal recognition to living-will and authority authorization and also provided the guidelines for its execution and registration. Before the said judgment the issue of passive was also a point of discussion in the case of Aruna Shanbaugh v. Union of India, the Supreme Court in the said case permitted withdrawal of life support system in the exceptional circumstances and provided detailed guidelines to be followed before such act, the case permitted an authority to next friend to decide in withdrawal or withholding of life support system in case of PVS. However, the court totally ignored living will and authority authorization. Therefore, Common Cause Registered Society case is the only case that acknowledged right to life that extends to right to die which even permitted living will and authority authorization. The researcher, however finds the judgement to be a flawed and unrealistic and is petrified that it can open doors for corruption. Therefore, the author in this paper has humbly attempted to briefly examine the legislative march for euthanasia in India starting from The Law Commissions’ 196th report to the latest Common Cause Registered Society v. Union of India and has tried to propose a modal bill that permits active euthanasia, passive euthanasia as well as assisted suicide.
Dr. Vrushti Patel. Treatment of terminally ill patients and death with dignity bill, 2018: Legalizing assisted suicide in India through a concrete legislation. International Journal of Law, Volume 4, Issue 6, 2018, Pages 22-26