The Rights Of The Terminally Illby The Daily Eye Team June 10 2016, 10:05 am Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 43 secs
The draft Bill fails to protect the constitutional rights of patients who wish to have their decisions about medical treatment respected. Euthanasia has always been fraught with moral, social, and religious tensions across jurisdictions. On the one hand, nations have tried to grapple with the issue by creating a legal framework that balances these multiple considerations. On the other hand is the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s draft Medical Treatment of Terminally-Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill, 2016, which creates a flimsy framework. The Bill, which has been put up for public comments, has attracted a range of views so far. In particular, its refusal to give legal effect to advance medical directives (‘living wills’) is an abdication of legislative responsibility and a violation of Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty).