Chief Justice Sathasivam pronouncing the judgement said that they are not making any references and leaving it for the constitution bench to examine the whole issue exhaustively in all its dimensions.
Earlier, a constitution bench judgment had ruled that the right to live with dignity included the right to die with dignity, but had not touched upon the issue of passive euthansia.
SC said it is time for a constitution bench to lay down guidelines on passive euthanasia on its legality as well as its constitutional validity.
In March 2011, the Supreme Court of India, passed a historic judgement permitting Passive Euthanasia in the country. It’s a landmark law which places the power of choice in the hands of the individual, over government, medical or religious control which sees all suffering as “destiny”.
Since the judgement provides medico-legal clarity on brain-death, the Passive Euthanasia Law has also been instrumental in heightening acuity on organ donations. [Healthy vital organs would get wasted while arguments rage over brain-steam death.] An amendment proposed in Parliament, a few months after the judgement, allows the Dr of the brain-dead patient to inform the relatives about the option of organ donation. The Dr can also talk to an irreversibly ill patient about consenting to organ donation as a cadaver through authorised committees.
Due to the national awareness of PVS due to the Passive Euthanasia Law, the Government of India’s Parliament has also accepted, in its strengthened anti-rape law in March 2013, Pinki Virani’s recommendations that (a) the law include a “vegetative” clause (b) the perpetrator who puts the victim in a vegetative state before, during or after sexual assault be categorised as “rarest of the rare”, therefore treated on par with being a murderer.