India allows 'living wills' for terminally ill
This would apply to patients suffering from terminal illness and who are in a vegetative state
India's Supreme Court has allowed people to draw up "living wills".
It means medical treatment can be withdrawn to hasten a person's death, if strict guidelines are followed, BBC reports.
This would apply to patients suffering from terminal illness and who are in a vegetative state.
A living will sets out a patient's wishes regarding how they want to be treated if they are seriously ill.
The Indian judges said the right to die with dignity was a fundamental right and that an advance directive by a person in the form of a living will could be approved by the courts.
The Supreme Court's decision means that people can seek what is known as passive euthanasia.
Passive euthanasia happens when a patient dies because medical professionals either do not do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive. This might include:
- switching off life-support machines
- disconnecting a feeding tube
- not carrying out a life-extending operation
- not administering life-extending drugs