See More on Facebook

Curiosity

India allows passive euthanasia

India’s Supreme Court allows people to draw up what it termed “living wills” on how they would like to be treated if critically sick.


Written by

Updated: March 13, 2018

India’s top court on March 9 delivered a landmark judgment permitting passive euthanasia to terminally ill patients on life support.

The Supreme Court also allowed people to draw up what it termed “living wills” on how they would like to be treated if critically sick. The judges ruled that the right to die was a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and that it would approve advance “living wills”.

The 538-page ruling allows adult patients in their consciousness, or families of patients suffering from a terminal illness and in a vegetative state, to withdraw life support and hasten their end.

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and  Justice A M Khanwilkar said, “The purpose and object of advance medical directive is to express the choice of a person regarding medical treatment in an event when he loses the capacity to take a decision. The right to execute an advance medical directive is nothing but a step towards protection of aforesaid right by an individual.”

However, the court disallowed active euthanasia or administration of a lethal drug to cut short life. “No one is permitted to cause death of another person including a physician by administering any lethal drug even if the objective is to relieve the patient from pain and suffering”, it ruled.

A Mumbai-based couple, who had approached the President of India seeking permission for active euthanasia were disappointed with the Supreme Court judgement.

The Indian Express reported that Narayan, 88, and Iravati, 78, both leading a healthy life have wished for assisted suicide. They are driven by the satisfaction of having lived a happy life and they fear losing the other.

“We’re not fully satisfied with the Supreme Court’s judgment. People above the age of 75 should be given this right. They can verify the details of these people from the police and doctors. The government should come up with a policy,” the couple told ANI.

The ruling draws from the Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug vs Union Of India & Ors (March 7, 2011) case. Shanbaug, a nurse, had been sexually assaulted in a Mumbai hospital in 1973 and had slipped into a permanent vegetative state. The brain-damaged and paralysed Shanbaug remained in that state for 42 years. Her death sparked a national debate over euthanasia.

The 2011 judgement had put the onus on doctors to petition to withdraw life support, under the supervision of the courts. Earlier, all forms of euthanasia were illegal in India.

There have been a number of requests for active euthanasia by Indians – all rejected by courts and authorities.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Curiosity

Japanese retailers embark on sales drive marking end of Heisei reign

The Japanese Emperor Akihito is due to abdicate later this year. Three months remain in the Heisei era. Unlike the previous era change brought about by the death of Emperor Showa, the upcoming transition is characterized by a festive mood. Retailers are engaging in a marketing war as they entice consumers with “Last Heisei” sales, while bridal companies are preparing for a wave of “last-ditch marriages” in which couples wed before the end of the era. The Loft, a leading variety store in Shibuya, Tokyo, put up an advertisement with the message, “We’re daring to ‘bring back’ giri-choko for the last Valentine’s Day of the Heisei era.” The campaign seeks to upend the gradual decline of giri-choko, chocolates that women give to their male colleagues or friends only out of a sense of obligation.


By The Japan News
February 3, 2019

Curiosity

Asia’s largest LGBTQ exhibition to open in Bangkok later this year

The exhibition will run from March through next year. “Spectrosynthesis II- Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia”, the largest-ever survey of regional contemporary art, will explore gender issues and feature more than 200 works by 50 artists. It will open at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) on November 23 and run until March 1 next year. The exhibition received huge critical acclaim when it was first staged in Taiwan 2017, after which its Hong Kong-based organiser, the Sunpride Foundation, chose Bangkok as its second stop. “Bangkok is my second home and Thailand is the most friendly LGBT country in Asia and the more liberal nation,” said Patrick Sun, founder of Sunpride Foundation. “Taiwan is the one of th


By The Nation (Thailand)
January 10, 2019

Curiosity

Ex-ambassador urges former colleague to defect to South Korea

A feature story from Korean Herald outlining the intricacies of a possible defection by Pyongyang’s ambassador in Italy. A former senior North Korean diplomat who defected to the South in 2016 on Saturday urged a former colleague who has gone into hiding before ending his term in Italy to come to Seoul, as opposed to the US where he is reportedly seeking asylum. Thae Yong-ho, who was the deputy ambassador in London and the most recent senior diplomat to defect, wrote an open letter to Jo Song-gil, 44, until recently North Korea’s acting ambassador to Italy, who fled the Rome embassy with his wife in early November without notice. Jo became


By The Korea Herald
January 7, 2019

Curiosity

China lands probe on far side of the moon

It is the first manmade probe to land on the far side. Humankind’s lunar exploration history saw the opening of a new chapter on Thursday morning as the world’s first explorer of the moon’s far side landed at its destination after a 26-day space journey. The Chang’e 4 lunar probe, the latest step in China’s endeavor to explore the silver sphere, landed at 10:26 on the Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken basin and then sent back a picture of the landing site shot by one of the monitor cameras on the probe’s lander, marking the world’s first image taken on the moon’s far side. The picture, published by the China National Space Administration, shows the place where Chang’e 4’s rover will be heading to roam and survey. The successful landing formally inaugurated the world’s first expedition to the far side that never faces the E


By China Daily
January 4, 2019

Curiosity

Japanese emperor turns 85, glad for war-free reign

The emperor made his last speech before his pending abdication. Japan’s Emperor Akihito, who turned 85 yesterday, has said he was heartened that the Heisei (achieving peace) era was coming to an end without his country having engaged in war. “It gives me deep comfort that the Heisei era is coming to an end, free of war in Japan,” the pacifist monarch said in an emotional news conference held at the Imperial Palace ahead of his birthday. Of the war that Japan waged in his father’s name, he added: “It is important not to forget that countless lives were lost in World War II and that the peace and prosperity of post-war Japan was built upon the numerous sacrifices and tireless efforts made by the Japanese people.” He stressed that it was crucial to “pass on this history accurately to those born after the war”, in what was his last birthday news confere


By The Straits Times
December 26, 2018

Curiosity

Afghan war helped Pakistan keep nuclear option: US papers

US backing for anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan may have enabled the Pakistan bomb. Torn between preventing Pakistan from going nuclear and fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, the United States appears to have decided that pushing the Russians out of Kabul was more important, shows a set of documents released by the US State Department. Official US memos and letter — released under an arrangement to make public official documents after 30 years — show that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (in office from 1978 to 1989) also played a key role in convincing Washington to continue to support Islamabad despite its nuclear programme. Timeline: History of US-Pakistan relations A confidential State Department report, dated Aug 20, 1984, shows that by 1984 Washington knew Islamabad had acquired the


By Dawn
December 24, 2018