Shrutika Patil, Pune
The Supreme Court affirmed a two-tiered process on Tuesday for approving passive euthanasia, which streamlined the procedure for withdrawing or withholding life support from a terminally sick patient.
The new regulations, which have gained preliminary approval, do away with a time-consuming three-tiered process that required a doctor and the patient’s family to obtain a judicial magistrate’s approval before withholding or withdrawing life support. Soon, the final order is anticipated.
In accordance with the new recommendations, a five-judge bench of justices K M Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar; recognises the right to death in cases of terminal disease and permits a primary board and a secondary board, established by the hospital, to decide whether the patient’s life support can be terminated.
According to doctors and healthcare experts, the new set of regulations would streamline the process and free hospitals from legal restrictions when dealing with patients who are brain dead, in a persistent vegetative state or coma, terminally sick, or who are receiving prolonged life support.
The Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine petitioned the Supreme Court in 2019 to modify and simplify the guidelines.
The Supreme Court opened the door for passive euthanasia for the first time in 2018, by permitting a person to create a living will or an advanced directive that will give them the choice to choose the treatment if they wind up on life support, go into an irreversible coma, or have a terminal illness.
Making a living will require the initial rules from 2018 that a judicial magistrate will approve. The hospital was required to form a committee first, the collector was then required to organise a second committee to evaluate the decision, and finally, the magistrate was required to confirm the details and grant consent before life support could be removed.
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