'Living will is autonomy over life or death'

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"To die as per clearly stated, prior personal choice, without being tethered to tubes and machines in a usually futile bid to slightly prolong life in a comatose state, is a right that everyone must be granted", Reddy said, reacting to the Supreme Court ruling which recognised the right of a terminally-ill patient to make an "advance medical directive", or "living will" refusing medical treatment.

In asserting the right to die with dignity and giving legal sanction to passive euthanasia and living wills, Supreme Court has reiterated the individual's sovereignty over the body.

The top court, in its last year's verdict, said there was no justification to keep the enforcement of Lokpal Act suspended till the proposed amendments, including on the issue of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, were cleared by the Parliament. "The right of life is in the hands of God", he said.

She added, "Even though we do not have any terminal illness, the fact remains that we have lead a good and satisfactory life and we thoroughly believe that there is nothing more we wish to do". "But before passive euthanasia comes the question of the living will".

Passive euthanasia is the deliberate withdrawal of medical treatment with the intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient. The judgment decreed that passive euthanasia is legal and valid across the country.

"The Supreme Court has delivered an important and historic decision", said lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who moved the petition on behalf of non-profit organisation Common Cause.

The court said that in cases where there was no advance directive about terminally ill patients, the doctor treating the doctors treating the patient may inform the hospital which, in turn, shall constitute a medical board.

The court also considered such cases where no living will or directive is left behind.

The court also spelt the guidelines to be followed in cases where there would be no advance directive, saying that such persons can not be "alienated". The apex court has said that an individual could make an advance "living will" that would authorise passive euthanasia under certain circumstances.

Passive euthanasia involves withholding or discontinuing treatment for a terminally ill person where as active euthanasia involves injecting a lethal dose to a terminally ill person.

The verdict, which also put in place some strict guidelines, was also welcomed by human rights activist Pinki Virani, who had sought mercy killing for Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who was in a vegetative state for 42 years after being brutally raped by a wardboy before she died in 2015. It is advocated that one of the main reasons which should prompt philosophers of law to undertake economic analysis seriously is that the most basic notion in the analysis - efficiency or Pareto optimality - was originally introduced to help solve a serious objection to the widely held moral theory, utilitarian.

The document should also specify the name of the guardian or close relative, who in the event of the person becoming incapable of taking a decision, will be authorised give consent to withdrawal of medical treatment.

BJP MP Vinay Sahsrabuddhe said the SC decision is in sync with the changing realities of society.

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