Tewari demands code of conduct for euthanasia cases
After the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for mercy killing of a 60-year-old nurse living in a vegetative state for the last 37 years, Congress MP Manish Tewari demanded in Lok Sabha that a committee be formed to formulate a code of ethics to decide on continuation or withdrawal of the life support system to such patients.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Tewari referred to the tragic plight of Aruna Shanbaug, who has been comatose for the last 37 years in a Mumbai hospital after a brutal sexual assault.
Drawing the attention of the House to the issue, Tewari said though the Supreme Court had "rightly" dismissed the petition pleading for passive euthanasia, the issue "raises certain very important questions which merit the consideration of not only the Government but also merits the consideration of the House".
"It is important that the government constitutes a multi-disciplinary committee consisting of doctors, lawyers, civil society activists, relatives of patients who have gone through this trauma, to really come out with a code of ethics on continuing or the withdrawal of life support systems," the Ludhiana MP said.
"It is because, as we go forth, I think these are areas of medicine which need to be now regulated by a proper body of law," he said.
Tewari said it was time for Parliament and the government to lay down a code of conduct which can then be translated into a statutory law.
In a keenly-awaited verdict, the Supreme Court today dismissed a plea for mercy killing on behalf of a 60-year-old nurse Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, living in a vegetative state for the last 37 years in a Mumbai hospital after a brutal sexual assault.