Supreme Court Judgement copy: Advance Medical Directives (Living Will) and withdrawal of life support treatment

A Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice K M Joseph has passed orders to making suitable amendments to the previous procedure regarding making an advance medical directive and withholding and withdrawing of life support treatment. This landmark judgement is set to be a game changer in the practice of End of Life care in India.

Key amendments:

  1. An advance medical directive may now be made in front of a Notary or a Gazetted Officer. There is no need for it to be countersigned by a magistrate.
  2. For withdrawing life support, two committees need to be constituted by the hospital where the patient is admitted. There is no need for a District collector to be involved henceforth. 

The judges of the Supreme Court of India also go on to share, The said directive, we think, will dispel many a doubt at the relevant time of need during the course of treatment of the patient. That apart, it will strengthen the mind of the treating doctors as they will be in a position to ensure, after being satisfied, that they are acting in a lawful manner”. 

Please click here to read the highlighted copy of the Supreme Court judgment. 

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