SC Grapples With Relevance of Euthanasia against Medical progress, Reserves Judgement

New Delhi(INDIA) :The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, concluded its hearing on the Living Will and Euthanasia after taking note of the counsel who said that medical science is a growing discipline and the possibility of reviving a person who is considered terminally ill, cannot be ruled out.

The Chief Justice of India made frequent interventions to clarify that right to live does not include right to die.

The process of dying, the court emphasized, should be a dignified one.

Justice DY Chandrachud pointed out that while Passive Euthansia presumes the right to die, it also postulates right to live.

The Additional Solicitor General, PV Narasimha opposed the concept of Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney in case of terminally ill patients. Living Wills, he said cannot be considered informed, as the person opting for it might not be aware of future medical developments that could improve medical conditions considered terminal today.

Besides, said the solicitor, Living Wills could give rise to complications when the person concerned wishes to withdraw the consent to  right to die later.

Senior advocates Arvind Datar and Sanjay hedge sought recognition of Living Will as part of Right to Life.

The bench reserved its judgement in the afternoon after hearing counsels for interveners and impleaders.

Prashant Bhushan is amicus curiae in the case.

Delhi Medical Council, Society for Right to Die with Dignity, Maharashtra, Dr. Surendra Dhelia of Adult Education Institute, Mharashtra and Institute, Maharashtra and Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, Maharashtra are interveners.

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