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Journalist Pinki Virani had fought for her right to die with dignity, which was ultimately denied by the Supreme Court.

While the bench stated that "living will" and "passive euthanasia" were permissible in the country, it also asserted that guidelines would govern who would execute the will and how a green signal for passive euthanasia would be granted.

The court also permitted individuals to decide against artificial life support, should the need arise, by creating a "living will".

The Supreme Court on Friday gives way to the right to die with dignity by allowing passive enthusiasm or passive mercy.

Ruling says citizens can draft living will refusing treatment in case of coma or terminal illness.

A living will is a written document that allows a patient with deteriorating health or the terminally ill to choose not to remain in a vegetative state with life support system if he/she goes into a state when it will not be possible for them to express their wishes.

Minakshi Biswas, research scholar and expert on euthanasia, said however that there are many factors to be considered before allowing passive euthanasia.

Commenting on the development Dr KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and former national president of Indian Medical Association (IMA) said that the medical profession has been demanding such a provision for a long time.

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The bench was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause, saying safeguards were needed while taking a decision by medical boards to withdraw life support of a terminally-ill patient.

Many public hospitals discuss realistic outcomes to help families choose whether they want to provide life-support to terminally ill patients with no hope of surviving.

Passive Euthanasia was made legal in India under exceptional circumstances.

Passive euthanasia is a condition where there is withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient.

It is not clear if the prior permission is required of that medical board, probably not.

Protection to medical practitioners and competent patients: If a patient suffering from terminal illness refuses medical treatment, he will not be liable for an offence under the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

While legalising passive euthanasia on Friday, the chief bench defined Active euthanasia as "a positive act or affirmative action or act of commission entailing the use of lethal substances or forces to cause the intentional death of a person by direct intervention, e.g., a lethal injection given to a person with terminal cancer who is in awful agony".


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