Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Pro-Death Spin From India

Well, gee, who woulda thunk it??? Pro-deathers in India think that the narrow Indian Supreme Court decision for euthanasia should be allowed for all the usual reasons . . . Aren't we oh so very lucky??
Who has the last word?
The case of Aruna Shanbaug before the Supreme Court has brought the subject of euthanasia into public debate once again; but allowing for the first time, passive euthanasia in specific circumstances. The Court has ruled, pending legislation, that passive euthanasia is permissible, and brain-dead patients need not be kept alive by support systems or artificial feeding. However, 60-year-old Aruna Shanbaug, having spent 37 years in a hospital bed, who is neither in coma nor brain-dead, may not be allowed to die.
Hailed as groundbreaking, the judgement takes a disappointingly narrow view of an issue that has ramifications across the medical, ethical and social dimensions of society. Primarily engaged with the question of who was Aruna’s ‘next friend’ who may decide to withdraw her life support, the court favoured the hospital staff who have looked after her all these years and rejected the plea of the journalist Pinki Virani who had sought permission to withdraw Aruna’s life support. Since the hospital wanted to keep Aruna alive, the Court upheld its wishes. If later the hospital wishes to withdraw life support to Aruna, it must apply to the court. Extending this logic, the Court has allowed that caretakers of those incapable and lying in similar states to seek passive euthanasia on the patients’ behalf in specific cases following an application to the high courts. more

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