Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomeCity NewsBombay HC Raps Maharashtra Govt For Not Implementing SC Orders On 'Living...

Bombay HC Raps Maharashtra Govt For Not Implementing SC Orders On ‘Living Will’

A division bench of the Bombay High Court said it was "unfortunate" that someone had to file a petition to get a judgment passed by the top court implemented.

- Advertisement -
Bombay High Court Malegaon Blast Case
Image: PTI

The Bombay High Court expressed displeasure on Thursday over the Maharashtra government’s failure to fully implement the Supreme Court’s directions on the issue of ‘living will’.


A division bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Amit Borkar said it was “unfortunate” that someone had to file a petition to get a judgment passed by the top court implemented.

A living will is a legal document that a person can execute in advance, spelling out medical treatments they would or would not want used to keep them alive in case of medical emergency or terminal illness, as well as preferences for other medical decisions, such as pain management or organ donation.

As per the SC judgment, all municipal corporations have to set up medical boards and nominate a competent authority as a custodian to preserve living wills.

A person has to notarise two copies of the will. During medical treatment and emergencies, one copy has to be provided to the doctor, who will then call for a second copy from the custodian for verification, and decide the course of treatment as per the wishes expressed in the living will.

Dr Nikhil Datar, a gynaecologist and activist, had filed a public interest litigation seeking the implementation of the SC judgment in Maharashtra.

The state government had in March submitted an affidavit, informing the HC that it had appointed 417 custodians.

On Thursday, Mr Datar told the court that apart from a primary medical board that gives its opinion on the execution of a living will, the state is also supposed to set up a secondary medical board that includes a registered medical practitioner.

The secondary medical board affirms the opinion of the primary board, after which the will can be executed. Without the secondary board, a living will cannot be executed, but the government has not yet set up this body, Mr Datar said.

The bench then questioned the state government about why it did not implement the SC directive wholly.

“It is unfortunate that a person has to file a petition to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court. Why can’t you have a permanent secondary board? Every doctor is registered… Why can’t you do this?” the high court said.

The court adjourned the hearing to July 18, asking the state government to inform, by that date, about the steps taken to implement the SC order.

The court also issued notices to the Medical Council of India and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as Mr Datar sought to add them as respondents.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest

Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News