India will soon decide whether or not to pass a law to legalise passive euthanasia as the Union Health Ministry has prepared a draft bill and invited public suggestions before the formation of the law. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has posted a draft Bill – Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) on its website and opened up the issue for public debate. In a circular, the Ministry has asked citizens to submit their views by mail to [email protected] by 19 June, 2016.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Government of India has decided to solicit public opinion/comments before formulation of Law on Passive Euthanasia.The draft bill as given by Law Commission in its 241st Report is being uploaded for soliciting public opinion/comments on the same.” the circular said.
ALSO READ Tamil Nadu: Transgenders plead for mercy killing upset over their plightEarlier in 2006, the Health Ministry had examined the matter of formulating regulatory provisions for euthanasia based on the 196th Report of the Law Commission of India on ‘The Medical Treatment of Terminally-ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill 2006’ in consultation with a committee of experts. However, the Ministry had opted not to make any law on euthanasia at that time. Subsequently, the Supreme Court in its judgment on March 7, 2011 in the Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug vs UoI and Others, laid down comprehensive guidelines to process ‘passive euthanasia’ in the case of incompetent patients and stated that the said procedure should be followed all over India until the Parliament makes a legislation on the subject.
ALSO READ Why did Supreme Court refuse the mercy killing of Aruna Shanbaug in 2011?What is Passive EuthanasiaPassive euthanasia, or ‘negative euthanasia’, involves withholding of medical treatment or withholding life support system for continuance of life e.g., withholding of antibiotic where without doing it, the patient is likely to die or removing the heart—lung machine from a patient in coma. Passive euthanasia is legal even without legislation, provided certain conditions and safeguards are maintained.
ALSO READ A year on, KEM hospital nurses remember Aruna ShanbaugRead the Draft Bill hereThe Ministry said that active euthanasia (which involves taking specific steps such as injecting a terminally-ill patient with a lethal substance to end suffering) is not being considered “as it is likely to be used by unscrupulous individuals to attain their ulterior motives.


Government likely to enact law on passive euthanasia, invites suggestions from citizens