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High Court Judge Registers Goa’s First “Living Will”

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 Context: Justice M.S. Sonak, of the Bombay High Court’s Goa Bench, became the first person in Goa to register a “living will”—an advance medical directive specifying actions for when he cannot make decisions.

 

About Living Will (Advance Medical Directive):

A living will is a written document where a person outlines their medical treatment preferences in advance, to be followed if they become incapacitated or unable to communicate. It’s a voluntary decision. The Supreme Court, in the Common Cause vs. Union of India & Anr. (2018) case, ruled that a person in a persistent vegetative state can opt for passive euthanasia, such as withdrawing life support. A living will allows individuals to refuse medical treatment in the event of a terminal illness.

 

Goa is the first state to implement these directives formally. The living will must be drafted in the presence of two witnesses, certified by a gazetted officer or notary, and sent to the District Collector for safekeeping.

Source: IE