New Delhi, Mar 7 (ANI): After the Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by author Pinki Virani for the mercy killing of comatose nurse Aruna Shanbaug, Union Law and Justice Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Monday said there is a need for a serious debate regarding the matter.
"There is no question of concurring or not with the judgement. But in fact, they (Supreme Court) are right that without a law you cannot resort to this kind of a decision with a judicial order. Therefore, there is a need for a serious debate regarding the matter. It has to be examined, it has to be debated upon," he said.
Moily said that there were a lot of humanitarian points to be looked into and such petitions cannot be used as 'an instrument' to kill somebody.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the petition filed by author Pinki Virani for the mercy killing of comatose nurse Aruna Shanbaug, confined to a bed in Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital for the last 37 years in a vegetative state after a brutal sexual assault.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra said passive euthanasia would occur when medical treatment is withheld or withdrawn leading to the death of a terminally ill person.
Active euthanasia is generally referred to a state where a patient is given a lethal injection or through any other method allowed to die in presence of doctors, while passive euthanasia involves withdrawing the life support system from a patient.
The bench further clarified that until Parliament enacts a law, its judgement on active and passive euthanasia will be in force. However, the guidelines with regard to passive euthanasia were not immediately available.
The court said passive euthanasia can be voluntary and non-voluntary. It is voluntary if the patient requests mercy killing.
Non-voluntary passive euthanasia is that of Shanbaug's case - when the patient is incompetent to decide for herself. In such cases, the decision has to be taken by a surrogate, a proxy or family or by a panel of doctors, the court ruled
The plea for Aruna's mercy killing had been made by Pinki Virani who told the court that she cannot see or speak properly and keeping her alive violates her right to live with dignity. (ANI)