Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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SC issues notices to states, UTs on legalising passive euthanasia

Hearing a plea on allowing euthanasia for people who are terminally ill and have slim chances of survival, the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to all states and Union Territories.

The notice is returnable in eight weeks.

The plea urges the apex court of the country to legalise passive euthanasia.

The Centre argued in the court that passive euthanasia is a form of suicide which cannot be allowed.
The court also appointed former solicitor general TR Andhyarujina as amicus curiae to assist it in the case.

The petition was filed by NGO Common Cause seeking voluntary passive euthanasia including withdrawal of life support system to a terminally ill person and stopping medication.

During the court hearing on Tuesday, a Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that a will of a person can only be executed after the death of a person.

Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, urged the court to put in place a procedure under which a terminally ill person or whose health has deteriorated should be able to execute his or her will and ‘attorney authorisation’ for passive euthanasia as and when the situation arrives.

Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the plea for voluntary passive euthanasia was against public policy as it would be in the lines of abetment to suicide and attempt to commit suicide.

He said that since the issue concerned public policy, it can only be settled by Parliament.

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