Shift in govt stand on euthanasia, law soon

  • Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Mar 13, 2011 00:41 IST

Two weeks after the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, legalised passive euthanasia, the Centre on Saturday said it was “seriously examining” the feasibility of a new law on the subject.

The apex court, in its March 7 judgment, allowed the withdrawal of life support systems from patients living in a vegetative state, enabling them to end a life of misery.

The government has so far opposed euthanasia in all forms. Indicating a shift in the government’s stand, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said he has directed top ministry officials to analyse the court judgment and prepare a report on whether a new law is required. Moily said the Centre will soon put a draft proposal on the subject in public domain to invite views from different sections of the society. “A national debate is required on such a sensitive and emotional issue”.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that in the absence of any legislation on passive euthanasia, its judgment would be the law until the Parliament legislates on the matter.


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