India’s Top Court Upholds Passive Euthanasia With Guidelines

India’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that individuals had a right to die with dignity, allowing passive euthanasia with guidelines in a landmark verdict.

The top court also permitted individuals to draft a “living will” specifying that they not be put on life support if they slip into an incurable coma.

The five-judge Constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice of India said, “human beings have a right to die with dignity”. Passive euthanasia will be applicable to only a terminally ill person with no hope for recovery, the court said.

In 2015, the death of a 66-year-old nurse Aruna Shanbaug, who was sexually assaulted and left in a vegetative state for more than 40 years, had sparked a national debate over the legalization of euthanasia.

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