New Delhi, Mar 9: In a landmark order, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed passive euthanasia. Permitting passive euthanasia with guidelines, the apex court said right to die with dignity is a fundamental right. The Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan delivered the historic verdict on passive Euthanasia.

The top court also permitted an individual to draft a living will specifying that they not be put on life support if they slip into an incurable coma in the future. A living will is a written document in which a patient gives explicit instructions in advance about the medical treatment to be administered when he or she is terminally ill or no longer able to express informed consent.

What is Passive Euthanasia?

The term ‘passive euthanasia’ is defined as the withdrawal of medical treatment deliberately with the intention to hasten a terminally ill-patient’s death. In simple words, passive euthanasia is an act of hastening the death of a terminally-ill patient discontinuing medical treatment.

Passive euthanasia may involve turning off respirators, suspending medications or discontinuing food and water so the patient dies because of dehydration or starvation.