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Report No. 241

3. Refusal of medical treatment by a competent patient and its binding nature on medical practitioners.-

(1) Every competent patient including minor aged above 16 years has a right to take a decision and express the desire to the medical practitioner attending on her or him:

(i) for withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment to herself or himself and to allow nature to take its own course, or

(ii) for starting or continuing medical treatment to herself or himself.

(2) When a patient referred to in sub-section (1) communicates her or his decision to the medical practitioner, such decision is binding on the medical practitioner, Provided that the medical practitioner is satisfied that the patient is a competent patient and that the patient has taken an informed decision based upon a free exercise of her or his free will and, Provided further that in the case of minor above 16 years of age, the consent has also been given by the major spouse and the parents.

(3) Before proceeding further to give effect to the decision of the competent patient, the medical practitioner shall inform the spouse, parent or major son or daughter of the patient or in their absence any relative or other person regularly visiting the patient at the hospital about the need or otherwise of withholding or withdrawing treatment from the patient and shall desist from giving effect to the decision for a period of three days following the intimation given to the said patient's relations.

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