SC seek AG''s response on plea for Euthanasia killing

New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Faced with the vexed question ofpermitting "Euthanasia" (mercy killing)of a rape victimvirtually brain dead for the past 36 years, the Supreme Courttoday sought the Attorney General''s response on the trickyissue as it is not legalised in the country.

A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan SudhaMishra also appointed a three-member doctors'' team to examinethe victim Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug and submit a detailedjoint report to it by the next date of hearing.

"Euthanasia is one of the most perplexing issueswhich the courts and legislatures all over the world arefacing today. This court, in this case, is facing the sameissue and we feel like a ship in an unchartered sea, seekingsome guidance by the light thrown by the legislations andjudicial precedents of foreign countries," the bench said inan order.

The bench made the remarks on a petition filed byPinki Virani, a writer, and her friend who brought to thecourt''s attention the pitiable state of the victim languishingin Mumbai''s King Edward Memorial (KEM)Hospital and pleadedthat Aruna be allowed to die peacefully by withdrawing thefood being supplied to her forcibly.

The three-member doctors'' team would comprise J VDivatia, Head, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care andPain at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Roop Gursahani,Consultant Neurologist at P.D. Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, andNilesh Shah, Head, Department of Psychiatry at Lokmanya TilakMunicipal Corporation Medical College and General Hospital.

The bench also appointed senior advocate T R Andhyarujinaas an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist on theissue.

"The question of locus standi of the next friend of thepetitioner to move this petition shall also be consideredon the date fixed," the bench said in the order. (more) PTI RB

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