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SC legalises passive euthanasia and 'living will': A timeline

Posted By: PTI
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    The Supreme Court has given legal sanction to passive euthanasia in a landmark verdict, permitting 'living will' by patients on withdrawing medical support if they slip into irreversible coma.

    image for representation only

    Following is the chronology of events related to today's landmark verdict by a five-judge Constitution bench, recognising 'living will' to be made by terminally-ill patients for passive euthanasia:

    Right to die with dignity a fundamental right says SC while upholding passive euthanasia

    May 11, 2005: SC takes note of PIL of NGO 'Common Cause' seeking nod to allow terminally-ill persons to execute a living will for passive euthanasia. It seeks the Centre's response on the plea which seeks declaration of 'right to die with dignity' as a Fundamental Right under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

    Jan 16, 2006: SC allows Delhi Medical Council (DMC) to intervene and asks it to file documents on passive euthanasia.

    Apr 28 2006: Law Commission suggests a draft bill on passive euthanasia and says such pleas be made to HCs which should decide after taking experts' views.

    Dignity in death: Top observations of SC which allowed passive euthanasia

    Jan 31, 2007: SC asks parties to file documents.

    Mar 7, 2011: SC, on a separate plea on behalf of Aruna Shanbaug, allows passive euthanasia for the nurse lying in vegetative state at a hospital in Mumbai.

    Jan 23, 2014: A three-judge bench led by then CJI P Sathasivam starts final hearing in the case.

    Feb 11 2014: DMC files copy of proceedings of International Workshop for Policy Statement on Euthanasia in India and SC reserves verdict.

    Feb 25: SC cites inconsistencies in earlier verdicts on passive euthanasia including the one given in the Shanbaug case and refers the PIL to a Constitution bench.

    July 15: A five-judge bench commences hearing on the plea, issues notices to all states and UTs, and appoints senior advocate T R Andhyarujina as an amicus curiae. He dies during the pendency of the case.

    Feb 15, 2016: Centre says that it is deliberating the issue.

    Oct 11, 2017: Five-judge Constitution bench led by CJI Dipak Misra hears arguments and reserves the verdict.

    March 9, 2018: SC recognises 'living will' made by terminally-ill patients for passive euthanasia and lays down guidelines on procedures to be adopted for it.

    PTI

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