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India’s top court approves passive euthanasia

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NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court of India has given conditional approval for passive euthanasia on Friday in a milestone verdict expanding the right to life to incorporate the right to die with dignity.

Passive euthanasia involves withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient.

In a historic verdict, the Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan has also allowed ‘living will’ that will authorise the withdrawal of all life support systems if in the opinion of the doctors he has reached an irreversible stage of terminal illness.

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Common Cause, an NGO working in India had moved the top court way back in 2005 seeking right to make a ‘living will’ authorising withdrawal of life support system in the event of will makers reaching irreversible vegetative state.

A ‘living will’ is made by a person in his normal state of mind that is to be executed in the event of a terminal illness if he reaches an irreversible vegetative state.

The Supreme Court has also issued strict guidelines and said the guidelines will remain in force till a law is in place.

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Trump signs executive order to end separation of immigrant families

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has backed down and abandoned his policy of separating immigrant families on the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, after images of children in cages sparked outrage at home and abroad.

“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time we’re going to have strong — very strong — borders, but we are going to keep the families together,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

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Trump signed an executive order requiring that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally for as long as their criminal proceedings take. But that may violate a court settlement on how long children may be held, setting up a potential legal fight, unless Congress acts on the issue.

The Trump order also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings and asks the Department of Defence to help house them. But it does not end a 10-week-old ‘zero tolerance’ policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.

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