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Protection of human life is paramount and it is obligatory on behalf of the States to provide treatment and to see that no one dies because of lack of treatment and to realise the principles enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 215 OF 2005
Common Cause (A Regd. Society) ...Petitioner(s)
Versus
Union of India and Another …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
Dipak Misra, CJI [for himself and A.M. Khanwilkar, J.]

S. No.
Heading
A.
B.
C.
D.

D.1
D.2
D.3
D.4
E.
F.
G.
H.
Euthanasia : International Position

H.1
U.K. Decisions:
H.1.1
H.1.2
H.2
H.3
H.4
H.5
H.6
I
J.
K.
K.1
L
M.
N.
Submissions of the States
O.
Submissions of the Intervenor (Society for the Right to Die with Diginity)
P.
Advance Directive/Advance Care Directive/ Advance Medical Directive

(a)
Who can execute the Advance Directive and how
(b)
What should it contain?
(c)
How should it be recorded and preserved
(d)
When and by whom can it be given effect to
(e)
What if permission is refused by the Medical Board
(f)
Revocation or inapplicability of Advance Directive
Q.
Conclusions in seriatim

N. Submissions of the States


174. In this context, we may reflect on the submissions advanced on behalf of certain States. As stated earlier, there is a categorical assertion that protection of human life is paramount and it is obligatory on behalf of the States to provide treatment and to see that no one dies because of lack of treatment and to realise the principles enshrined in Chapter IV of the Constitution. Emphasis has been laid on the State interest and the process of abuse that can take place in treating passive euthanasia as permissible in law. To eliminate the possibility of abuse, safeguards can be taken and guidelines can be framed. But on the plea of possibility of abuse, the dignity in the process of dying being a facet of Article 21 should not be curbed.

Mr. Datar, learned senior counsel in the course of arguments, has advanced submissions in support of passive euthanasia and also given suggestions spelling out the guidelines for advance directive and also implementation of the same when the patient is hospitalized. The said aspect shall be taken into consideration while giving effect to the advance directive and also taking steps for withdrawal of medical support.

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