SC seeks doctors presence in Euthanasia mercy killing plea

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) The Supreme Court today soughtthe personal presence of a 3-member team of doctors fromMumbai to assist it on the vexed question of permittingEuthanasia (mercy killing) of a rape victim virtually braindead for the last 36 years.

A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan SudhaMishra sought the presence of the doctors J V Divatia, RoopGurshani and Nilesh Shah at the next date of hearing on March2 to help the court understand the content of the reportsubmitted by the team.

The bench sought the presence of the expert team aspurely technical terms were used in the report.

"It is quite possible that we may like to ask themquestions about the report which they have submitted, andin general about their views in connection with euthanasia.

"On perusal of the report of the committee of doctors,we have noted that there are many technical terms which havebeen used therein, which a non-medical man would find itdifficult to understand. We, therefore, request the doctors tosubmit a supplementary report by the next date of hearing inwhich the meaning of these technical terms in the report isalso explained," the bench said in an order.

The apex court asked the Centre to take care of allthe travel and accommodation, besides payment of honorarium,if any, to the doctors.

It also permitted the Dean of King Edward MemorialHospital and Pinky Virani, the petitioner, to present theirviews at the next hearing.

The apex court passed the order at the mentioning periodafter Attorney General G E Vahanvathi and amicus curiae T RAndhyarujina agreed for hearing of the case on March 2.

On January 24, the bench had sought the AttorneyGeneral''s response on the tricky issue as euthanasia is notlegalised in the country.

The apex court had also appointed a 3-member doctors''team to examine the victim Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug andsubmit a detailed joint report to it by the next date ofhearing.

"Euthanasia is one of the most perplexing issues whichthe courts and legislatures all over the world are facingtoday. This court, in this case, is facing the same issue andwe feel like a ship in an unchartered sea, seekingsome guidance by the light thrown by the legislations andjudicial precedents of foreign countries," the bench had saidin earlier an order.

The petition was filed by Pinki Virani, a writer, andher friend who brought to the court''s attention the pitiablestate of the victim languishing in Mumbai''s King EdwardMemorial (KEM)Hospital and pleaded that Aruna be allowed todie peacefully by withdrawing the food being supplied to herforcibly.

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