Indian government shelves plans for mercy killing law

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 23 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5218
  1. Nivedita Choudhuri
  1. 1Leicester

The Indian government has dropped plans for a bill that would have laid down clear procedures for withdrawing treatment and life support in the best interests of terminally ill patients.

The plans, contained in a draft bill prepared in 2006 by the Law Commission of India, called Medical Treatment to Terminally Ill Patients, would have removed the need for relatives to apply to the High Court to stop treatment and feeding.1

The draft bill proposed procedures that should be followed in cases where patients could not consent, to ensure that decisions were made in patients’ best interests and that medical practitioners involved …

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