2018 SCC Vol. 5 June 7, 2018 Part 1

Constitution of India — Art. 21 — Euthanasia: The right to die with dignity is a fundamental right. Passive euthanasia, voluntary and non-voluntary, is permissible. Smoothening natural process of dying of patients who are terminally ill or in permanent vegetative state or brain dead state without any hope for revival, by withholding or withdrawing life prolonging medical support or treatment, held, permissible. Such patients, if adult and while in conscious mind, can also execute living will in form of “Advance Directive” directing not to prolong their life by medical treatment. Their right to live with dignity till end of their natural span of life without intervention of medical life-sustaining measures is based on right to life, liberty, human dignity and privacy inherent under Art. 21 of the Constitution, as also Common Law right of autonomy and self-determination and also right to refuse medical treatment. Detailed guidelines laid down, to remain in force until legislation is enacted to cover the field. [Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 1]

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