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Will a doctor be held criminally liable if he abides by an advance directive of his patient? |
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Will a doctor be held criminally liable if he abides by an advance directive of his patient?
Dr KK Aggarwal & Advocate Ira Gupta,  22 March 2019
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No, the treating doctor who in good faith abides by an advance directive will not be held liable under criminal law.

In the matter titled as “Common Cause versus Union of India, 2018 (5) SCC 1 passed by the Hon’ble Constitution Bench of 4 Judges of the Supreme Court of India, has held that:

vi) An individual who is in a sound and competent state of mind is entitled by means of an advance directive in writing, to specify the nature of medical intervention which may not be adopted in future, should he or she cease to possess the mental ability to decide. Such an advance directive is entitled to deference by the treating doctor. The treating doctor who, in a good faith exercise of professional medical judgment abides by an advance directive is protected against the burden of criminal liability;”

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