Let Parliament take a call on euthanasia, says SC

Right to die

Let Parliament take a call on euthanasia, says SC

The Supreme Court on Monday said that the question relating to legalising passive euthanasia or allowing a person to make a “living will” to withdraw his life support system when he becomes interminably-ill should be left to the people’s court (Parliament) to decide.

A five-judge Constitution bench presided over by Justice A R Dave noted that the issue was being considered by the government. However, the pendency of the petition by NGO Common Cause would not come in the way of passing a legislation, the court added.

“Let a public debate to take place in the peoples’ court, that is Parliament,” the bench, also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph, S K Singh, A K Goel and R F Nariman, said.

Law commission reportThe court put the matter for further consideration on July 20 as additional solicitor general P S Patwalia submitted that the Health Ministry was examining the Law Commission report in this regard.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, insisted that the court should consider and pass an order at least on the limited issue of Living Will, till a legislation is enacted.

During the hearing, the ASG also cited an example of former Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, who is in coma for over two years, saying that his family members are still hoping that medical science has developed and he will return to normalcy and are against withdrawing life support system. 

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