New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed its displeasure with the Central Government on the issue of living will. The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the Central Government is shirking its legislative responsibility by not taking a decision on the ‘Living Will’. In fact, despite the Supreme Court’s 2018 order on ‘passive euthanasia’ recognizing the right of every individual to die with dignity as a fundamental right and an aspect of Article 21 (right to life), ‘living People wishing to register ‘Will’ are facing problems due to complex guidelines.
Noting that this was a matter where the elected representatives of the country should debate, Justice K.M. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Joseph said the court lacked the requisite expertise and relied on information provided by the parties. At the same time, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, appearing for the Centre, said that the issue has been discussed and deliberated upon.
He said, ‘It was a clear decision not to pass any law. The decision has been accepted and we are not dissatisfied with the original instructions. Apart from Justice Joseph, the constitution bench also includes Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice CT Ravikumar. The constitution bench said that there is a possibility that it can be misused and there is a need for protection. Meanwhile, during the hearing, Justice Roy referred to actor Lushin Dubey’s play ‘Aruna Ki Kahani’ on Aruna Shanbaug.
Earlier Justice K. A five-judge bench headed by Justice M. Joseph said that there can be only minor modifications in the guidelines, otherwise it would be like reviewing its own decision of 2018. It was also said that the further direction can be applicable only in a limited area, where the patients suffering from terminal disease are so sick that they are not even in a position to tell that the treatment should be stopped.
Tags: euthanasia, supreme court
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 20, 2023, 07:37 IST