HC judge first in Goa to execute 'living will'

05:04 PM May 31, 2024 | PTI |

Panaji: Justice M S Sonak of the Bombay High Court on Friday gave his consent for an `End of Life Care (EOLC) will’ at a function here as Goa became the first state in the country to operationalise the Advance Medical Directives (AMD) facility.


The judge, who serves on the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court, became the first to execute what is commonly known as `living will’.

A person can give directions about his or her end-of-life treatment choices by executing such a document. Dr Sandesh Chodankar and Dinesh Shetty served as witnesses and Dr Medha Salkar, Chief Medical Officer at the Directorate of Services Goa was present as a gazetted officer at the function held on the high court premises near Panaji.

Speaking on the occasion, Justice Sonak congratulated all the stakeholders who made the implementation of AMD possible in the state. With this, Goa became the first state in the country to implement and operationalise the living will facility in the true letter and spirit of the Supreme Court’s directives, the judge noted.

He also appealed people to understand the intricacies of living wills and make an informed decision.


The function was organized by the Goa branch of the Indian Medical Association and Goa State Legal Services Authority. A booklet on Advance Medical Directives was released on this occasion.

Justices Valmiki Menezes and Jitendra Jain were also present along with former IMA Goa chief Dr Shekhar Salkar.

The apex court, in a judgement delivered in 2023, paved the way for End of Life Care will which is a blessing for terminally ill patients, Dr Salkar said. His own father, who went through prolonged illness, had to suffer because the option of executing a living will was not available back then, he added.

The Supreme Court through its February 2023 judgement modified an earlier ruling to make the implementation of Advance Medical Directives easier.


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