Common Cause and many renowned citizens have filed a PIL challenging the arbitrary appointments of India's new Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Vigilance Commissioner as illegal and void, and violative of the principles of 'impeccable integrity' and 'institutional integrity' laid down by the Apex Court in the landmark Vineet Narain Vs Union of India case of 1998.

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April-June, 2018

Aug 08, 2018
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To Our Readers: Road Ahead

Aug 08, 2018
LIVING WILL: THE ROAD AHEAD It Is All About Human Dignity and Meaningful Life Dear readers, The cover theme this time is Living Will but let me first recap the society’s main activities since the last quarter. Our Status of Policing in India Report (SPIR) released in May last continues to get extensive and noteworthy coverage in the media. Among the prominent experts who have commended its findings are French political scientist Christopher Jefferlot, former Planning Commission Me... Read More

The Answer is Palliative Care

Aug 08, 2018
RIGHT TO DIE IN PEACE The Real Answer Lies in Compassionate Palliative Care Dr M. R. Rajagopal* A landmark ruling by the honourable Supreme Court of India on March 9, 2018 recognised a person’s right to die with dignity. It also validated the citizens’ right to prepare Advance Medical Directives and the medical system’s obligation to respect it.  This is a huge milestone in many ways, and while it still leaves a few areas quite grey, the fact that a person&rs... Read More

A Request to Ease Suffering

Aug 09, 2018
DIGNIFIED DYING IS A HUMAN RIGHT A Living Will is Merely a Request to Ease Suffering Dr. Mala Kapur Shankardass★ As the population is ageing, increased longevity is bringing in more worries than just crow’s feet. Under the shadow of rising life expectancy lurks noncommunicable and degenerative diseases as well as chronic conditions. Coping with the trials of ageing is an uphill task. And so is the challenge of facing unavoidable suffering.  In particular, there i... Read More

Global Practices

Aug 09, 2018
UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL PRACTICES A Bird’s Eye View of Euthanasia Laws Across the World Anshi Beohar* “A peaceful, dignified death is the entitlement of all who want it. And a person should not be forced to leave home to achieve it,” said the Jan-April 2018 newsletter of the Australian right-to-die group Exit International, while discussing scientist David Goodall’s wish to die on his own terms. The wish became a reality in May this year, when the noted ecolog... Read More

Life & Death are One Thread

Aug 10, 2018
LIFE & DEATH ARE ONE THREAD Right to Life Includes Right to Die with Dignity Swapna Jha* The rituals of embracing the life’s end have been practised by Indians since eternity. Prayopavesa, Santhara or Samadhi Marana and Mahaprasthana are all final pit stops in the spiritual trajectory of human life, as described in different religious traditions. These terms are variously understood as the grand journey, great going, liberation or desired death with a balanced mind. ... Read More

Real-Life Cases

Aug 18, 2018
PERSPECTIVES FROM REAL-LIFE CASES Should One Exercise a Choice or Go on Living a Tormented Life? Trishala Roy* The story of porter Dennis Kumar is rather unique. According to several media reports, Kumar earns a living carrying passengers’ luggage in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. But his family is unlike that of other coolies. His five-year-old son, Danny, suffers from Symptomatic West Syndrome, a debilitating condition that has left him blind, deaf, and in a vegetat... Read More

A Model Living Will

Aug 18, 2018
ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVE A First Draft of a Model Living Will Disclaimer: This is a draft Advance Medical Directive (AMD) prepared on the basis of what we understood from the Supreme Court Judgment. It is meant to be a first draft and indicative in nature. We strongly recommend seeking sound legal opinion before writing or executing an actual Living Will. As per the Supreme Court of India’s judgment dated March 9, 2018, the following Advance Medical Directive has been executed by... Read More

Case Updates

Aug 18, 2018
COMMON CAUSE UPDATES Supreme Court Contempt Petition on NonAppointment of Lokpal: The petition for appointment of Lokpal filed by Common Cause (CC) was disposed by the SC in April 2017 maintaining that the Lokpal Act was a perfectly workable piece of legislation. However, the government failed to appoint the Lokpal nine months after the Apex Court verdict. Common Cause filed a contempt petition seeking Court’s directions against the government’s wilful and deliberate failu... Read More