Passive euthanasia already covered in MCI Code of Ethics then why a separate law?
IMA New Delhi, February 1, 2016: In an affidavit filed through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare the Centre has told the Supreme Court it supports "passive euthanasia" for terminally ill patients under a strictly regulated procedure but opposes any form of "active euthanasia. The draft of The Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill and the draft of The Euthanasia (Regulation) Bill is already ready. However IMA has questioned this given that regulation 6.7 of the MCI code of ethics explicitly prohibits doctors from practicing euthanasia and it feels that there is no need for a separate law. In passive euthanasia, the life support system of a terminally ill patient who is in a vegetative state is withdrawn.
In active euthanasia, a patient is put to death through a lethal injection. On January 15, a five-judge constitution bench, hearing a PIL demanding that "right to die" be declared a fundamental right for patients in a permanent vegetative state, had directed the Centre to clarify its stand on "passive euthanasia" for a terminally ill person. The next hearing is on February 1 2016 i.e. today. Speaking about the issue, Dr. SS Agarwal, National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr. K.K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, " The government proposes to incorporate directives issued by a two-judge bench in the Aruna Shanbaug case in its March 2011 judgment.
The directives stated ask that an expert committee of doctors and top government officials examine such cases after obtaining prior permission of the high courts concerned in each state, so as to prevent misuse by vested interests.