Passive Euthanasia: Here's what Supreme Court’s new rules signify

25 Jan 2023 • The Supreme Court on Tuesday modified its 2018 order on passive euthanasia to make the procedure of removal of life support from terminally ill patients less cumbersome for the patients, their families and the doctors. Here's what is different -

  • The Supreme Court has removed the condition that mandated a magistrate's approval for withdrawal or withholding of life support to a terminally ill. While the current rules states that the Judicial magistrate needs to be present for conducting passive euthanasia, the new order says the magistrate just needs to be informed

  • A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph said, the document will now be signed by the executor of the ""living will"" in the presence of two attesting witnesses, preferably independent, and attested before a notary or Gazetted Officer. The bench also said, the witnesses and the notary shall record their satisfaction that the document has been executed voluntarily and without any coercion or inducement or compulsion and with a full understanding of all the relevant information and consequences.

  • The SC has done away with the rule mandating that the district collector set up the review board. The Court said that both boards will be constituted by the hospital and there would be one nominee doctor of the district medical officer in the review board. The decision on such cases must preferably taken within 48hrs it added.

  • Doctors in the panel need to have **5-year experience, instead of 20years

  • The court also agreed with the petition that there was no need to involve JFMC in the process of preparation of the 'living will'. Source: TOI | Read full story

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