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Mercy killing in India

In the context of doctrine “parens patrica” and decision to withdraw or remove life support to a patient in long drawn irreversible coma or persistent vegetation state regarding an incompetent person a doctrine originated in Britain as early as in 13th century. It implies that king is the father of the country and is under obligation to to look after the interests of those who are unable to look after themselves.In india, there is no legislation as to the withdrawing life support to a person in PVS.

In case Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug v/s UOI, 2011, the supreme Court besides laying down law on this point held that it is the court alone as parens patrica , which ultimately must take this decision, albeit, after giving due weightage to the views of near relatives , next friend, doctors.

It is submitted that although there is no legislation to this effect, but in certain extraordinary circumstances it can be achieved by approaching the writ courts by the PSV.

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