Government not to make law on euthanasia | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Government not to make law on euthanasia

Almost a year after the Supreme Court legalised passive euthanasia (mercy killing), allowing withdrawal of life support for patients living in a permanent vegetative condition, the government has decided to stay out of the issue and not make any law on the subject. Points to consider

delhi Updated: Jan 30, 2012 01:34 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Almost a year after the Supreme Court legalised passive euthanasia (mercy killing), allowing withdrawal of life support for patients living in a permanent vegetative condition, the government has decided to stay out of the issue and not make any law on the subject.

The Supreme Court in its March 7 judgment last year had specified guidelines for high courts to follow before giving a final go-ahead for withdrawal of life-sustaining drugs and life support systems in cases of patients who are brain-dead or in a permanently vegetative state, after obtaining the consent of relatives and the opinion of medical experts.

It had made it clear that its judgment would hold good until the Parliament enacts a law on this issue, but the government is not ready to enter into any fresh controversy and wants the courts to decide and monitor such cases if they want to, HT has learnt. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/30_01_pg12a.jpg

The law ministry, which has been treading cautiously on the controversial matter since last year, has sought a response on four specific queries from the Law Commission of India, which advises the government on complex legal issues.

The Law Commission is not in favour of conducting any fresh study on the subject. “Since the Supreme Court has already made it clear that high courts can decide on cases of passive euthanasia based on medical advice, there is no need for the government’s opinion,” said a top commission official.

This is the second time that the government has referred the matter to the Law Commission.