Thursday, 7 June 2012

Euthanasia - a passionate plea for allowing it

Dear Readers,

Since sometime I have wanted to write on euthanasia. I won’t go into the legalese of it. It has been discussed threadbare by thinkers and legal experts before me. I want to make a passionate case for permitting euthanasia in India.

Much water has flown since Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (link in 1996. I sincerely feel that euthanasia should be permitted, both passive and active variants of it. It would be more humane to long sufferers. Dying is a reality of our mortal lives. We all would die one day. (I agree that it is the biggest denial of human life too. We never believe that we would die in our lifetime except when death is imminent. But that is an altogether different discussion. I would save it for future time.) Why not bestow some dignity to the person dying. Imagine a long suffering patient lodged in a hospital for years. None of his body parts are working, only thing working is his heart. The medical fraternity has given up. This patient continues to suffer. His family has more or less accepted his fate. Don’t you think, to force him to live in such circumstances, is actually punishing him. Won’t he be better off, if he is allowed to die. After all, he would “die’ one day, and does his vegetative state amount to a “life”.  The Supreme Court itself says life is more than living in a vegetative state. Of course, medical science may find a magic cure, but aren’t chances for a magic cure slim. Should he be left to suffer and punished for no folly of his.

Of course, I don’t advocate unbridled right to anybody and everybody who would want to die. I agree that euthanasia can be misused. But we can allow euthanasia after a court decides in its favour. And let us make it a time-bound decision. Lets say a 60-day period from date of application. A long winding case, would only strain the patient and his family, physically, mentally and monetarily.

Do think about this. And let me know your views.

Thanks & regards,

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