Life and death after Aruna Shanbaug

Roop Gursahani

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2011.029


On March 7, 2011, the Supreme Court of India (SCI) delivered a progressive judgement with far-reaching implications for end-of-life care and medical practice. The 110-page document written by Justice Markandey Katju was delivered by a two-judge division bench. It is available on the SCI website and makes fairly easy reading. It begins with a quote from Mirza Ghalib: “Marte hain arzoo mein marne ki, maut aati hai par nahi aati.” [“We perish with the wish to die / Death mocks but it will not arrive.”] Justice Katju then goes on to include a substantive review of legal opinions from across the English speaking world before opining that passive euthanasia can be practised legally in India.

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