Euthanasia Plea issue: Apex Court refers matter to constitution bench
The Supreme Court of India referred the issue of legalizing euthanasia in the country to a five-judge Constitution bench. Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Due to conflicted opinions on euthanasia, the apex court stated that the Constitution bench will go into all aspects of the issue and take a final decision on framing guidelines.
The PIL filed by NGO “Common Cause” had contended that a person whose life was ebbing out should be allowed to die, as the continuance of the life with the support system was an unnatural extension of the natural life span. The Centre had vociferously opposed the plea terming it as “suicide” which could not be allowed in the country.
Note: Jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal – the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Albania, and the US states of Washington, Oregon and Montana.