SC Yes to Passive Euthanasia; Differentiates from Active Eut


SC Yes to Passive Euthanasia; Differentiates from Active Euthanasia

07.03.2011 | 11:26

New Delhi

In an important judgment which will have a bearing on law on euthanasia in the country the Supreme Court today allowed passive euthanasia though with a caveat. Praising advocate Pinky Virani for her efforts in bringing the matter before the court, the court dismissed the plea for mercy killing of Aruna Shanbaug. The court reasoned that for as important a matter as euthanasia Virani is not clearly close enough to the victim nor is her attachment to Aruna enough to plead for euthanasia.

The apex court today distinguished between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia and allowed a person to plead passive euthanasia after a high court's approval with state as a party.

The apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra pronouncing the judgment elaborated that active euthanasia is when a lethal injection is given terminating a person's life, whereas passive euthanasia is when patient's life support mechanism is withdrawn.

Opening a gateway for euthanasia in the country the bench in an over 100 page judgment rejecting active euthanasia completely, laid down the guidelines to be followed for passive euthanasia. The bench held that while active euthanasia is illegal with no law allowing otherwise, passive euthanasia can be held legal albeit only after approval is granted from a high court.

The court further laid down that the high court is required to grant or deny approval after consulting a committee of three doctors. The state will also be issued notice in the case. The apex court judgement will hold good and be applicable in cases of euthanasia until the parliament enacts a law on the same, clarified the bench.

In the long judgment the bench dealh with laws in other countries which allow euthanasia some of which even allow active euthanasia. Case laws of US and UK have also been discussed. Further the bench discussed the question of what is death and what is life in the eye of law.

The bench has praised KEM hospital Mumbai for taking care of rape victim and a former employee Aruna Shaunbaug since last 38 years saying it is unprecedented care and the hospital has come as a symbol and icon for the industry.

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Serious debate on euthanasia needed: Moily

New Delhi, March 07, 2011

Government on Monday said a serious debate was needed on the issue of euthanasia as there were no laws at present on it in the country after the Supreme Court rejected a mercy killing petition on behalf of a comatosed Aruna Sahanbaug, a victim of a brutal s*xual assault. "There is no question of con related stories

SC allows 'passive euthanasia'

curring or not with the judgement. But in fact, they (Supreme Court) are right that without a law you cannot resort to this kind of a decision with a judicial order," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters.


A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra dismissed the plea filed on behalf of KEM hospital nurse Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, who has been in a vegetative state in a Mumbai hospital for the last 37 years.


Moily said the Right to Life is a right vested with a person. "Therefore, there is a need for a serious debate into the matter. It has to be examined, it has to be debated upon," he said.


But the Law Minister, at the same time, agreed that there were a lot of humanitarian points to be looked into and said such petitions cannot be used as "an instrument" to kill somebody.


He pointed that even in the United States, there is no general law to grant such permission expect in two states.


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Senior Partner

1. It was expected from hon'ble grandmaster i.e. wisdom of Lordship Justice Markandey Katju that he will pave way for PE in contemporary Indian legal history………

[Off the records; However now SLB needs to re-release Guzaarish as rally point for mass public discussions / awareness for Legislature wing of Parliament benefit to come with appropriate Law at the earliest.

Well many a common people don’t even know what is Euthanasia !

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euthanasia - in short what it is ?


" active euthanasia is when a lethal injection is given terminating a person's life, whereas passive euthanasia is when patient's life support mechanism is withdrawn." ---   ok, got it.

sc orders for passing a bill on the matter at perliament ( tv news) -- what about that?


" when a lethal injection is given terminating a person's life" ---  why a doctor will inject a lethal injection on a person to terminate the life?

---   not much clear.

what about the termination of pregnancy?

sometimes parents sometimes mother alone decide to terminate the pregnancy. what about that?


They (Doctors) who perform such acts are a band of Nazism.






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