Law Commission supports Passive Euthanasia

The Law Commission which advice government on legal matters suggested the government to take measures to enact a comprehensive law on Passive Euthanasia, subject to certain safeguards.
As per the Commission, Passive Euthanasia is not objectionable legally or constitutionally.
Suggestions were sought from the law commission regarding feasibility of framing a law for euthanasia after the legalization of Passive Euthanasia in Aruna Shanbaug case after the Supreme Court verdict.

Suggestions by the Law Commission:

  • A “competent” adult patient, who can take an informed decision, has the right to insist that there should be no invasive medical treatment by way of artificial life sustaining measures.
  • If patients cannot take a decision on their own, then the decision of the doctors or relatives to withhold or withdraw the medical treatment will not be final.
  • Same rule to a minor above 16 years of age who has expressed his or her wish not to have such treatment provided the consent has been given by the major spouse and one of the parents of such patient.
  • Active euthanasia still remains a crime under Section 302(murder) or 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC, along with the physician who abetted suicide under section 306 IPC (abetment of suicide)
  • Euthanasia: It is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.

What is the difference b/w Active Euthanasia and Passive Euthanasia?

  • In Passive euthanasia common treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life are withheld.
  • In Active euthanasia lethal substances or forces, such as administering a lethal injection, are used to kill.

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