In a decision passed on Friday, the top court gave legal sanction to passive euthanasia
or withholding treatment essential to life for a terminally-ill patient.
It is due to this difference that most of the countries across the world have legalised passive euthanasia
either by legislation or by judicial interpretation with certain conditions and safeguards.
While passive euthanasia
entails withholding of common treatments in terminally ill patients such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life, active euthanasia involves the use of lethal substances or forces, such as injections to kill, and is the most controversial.
In fact McQuoid-Mason  defines passive euthanasia
as 'aiming at preventing the prolonging of death by allowing an irreversible fatal underlying illness to kill the patient through withholding or withdrawing treatment', implying thereby that the disease and not the actions of the doctor causes death.
While anything that shortens life is unacceptable, the Jewish faith does not mandate extending life through artificial means (Richards & Bergin, 2000), and opting out for a more natural dying process by means of passive euthanasia
Despite the traditional notion that a physician only practices medicine for the purpose of healing, the United States Supreme Court has acknowledged a constitutionally protected interest in passive euthanasia
and abortion, two procedures that arguably work against the promotion of life and health.
Actual directions in the world are in favor of passive euthanasia
(renouncement to therapeutic insistences), Resolutions of European Council (11) proclaim the right to die in a dignified manner, relaxed and if possibly in comfort, in compliance with the patient's biological will (12).
Sometimes, this distinction is expressed as killing and letting die or as active and passive euthanasia
Recently, India joined a select group of countries worldwide such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland and the states of Oregon and Washington in the United States in legalizing the administration of passive euthanasia
The Court while discussing the issue of mercy killing generally in this case allowed passive euthanasia
in select cases.
The Supreme Court gave a sanction to passive euthanasia
if the high court concerned approves it.
Refusing mercy killing of Aruna Shanbaug, , lying in a vegetative state for 37 years in a Mumbai hospital, a two-judge bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra, laid a set of tough guidelines under which passive euthanasia
can be legalised through high court monitored mechanism.