Report No. 196
New method of presentation of legal principles adopted in this Report:
We felt that, in this Report, we have to deviate from the normal method of presentation of Report adopted in other Reports of the Law Commission. The legal principles applicable to stoppage of life-support systems cannot be understood unless one is able to know the facts in the leading cases where the principles of law have been laid down. Further, several of the law reports are not within the reach of the medical profession. In fact, some of the law reports to which we have referred are not available easily even to the members of the legal profession or the Judges.
Hence, we decided to deal with each case in an extensive manner so that law makers, patients or their relatives, doctors, lawyers and Judges can understand in what circumstances, the particular principles of law were laid down. We felt that, a mere reference to a legal principle divorced from the facts, cannot furnish any idea about the applicability of the legal principles to any given set of facts. We hope that this method adopted by us in this Report will be to the satisfaction of one and all.
In order to put our recommendations in legislative form, a draft of a Bill, namely, "Medical Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients (Protection of Patients, Medical Practitioners) Bill", is annexed to this Report as 'Annexure'.