Death with dignity

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Even as Belgium passed a controversial bill that extends euthanasia rights for minors the Supreme Court of India too has allowed passive euthanasia under exceptional circumstances. For introducing passive euthansia in India the law has to be framed very cautiously as the malpractices carried out by Indian doctors are already known to everyone. We do have very good doctors’ highly intellectual paving paths all around the world but when it comes to an Indian patients no doctors step back to mint money on poor or half dead patients. We have witnessed countless con activities which too must have to be encountered.

Passive euthanasia should be permitted only in highly selected cases under the supervision of a team of doctors appointed in every state of India.

India is witnessing massive poverty as people who can earn their livelihood are unable to get high-quality treatment as money plays a major role in healing. All of us are aware that people suffering from cancers can survive till the time they spend lakhs of money over the treatment.

Right to live is important but is it necessary that such a living should be agony free? He should be allowed to die with dignity.

I hope this shouldn’t be a case of “Justice delayed is justice denied”. Aruna Shanbaugh is the first person who needs passive euthanasia. She has undergone suffering and continues to suffer for the sins which was never committed by her. We don’t know what she wishes or thinks.

Just think Aruna’s rapist was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment but the former continues to suffer.

The medical report stated Aruna as fulfilling most criteria of patients in a permanently vegetative state. The report, however, did not mention whether she was being given palliative drugs mandatory for such patients. Inquiries on this issue continues to remain stonewalled.

The nurses say they love her; hence they would rather not use a catheter to catch her body’s wastes; catheters can lead to infections, these require drugs, they prefer to keep drugs to the minimal, just in case “something happens to her”. Which is why — when her gums caught rot, her teeth fell out one-by-one in that locked room — two doctors discontinued her full medical examination even though treatment is offered to her in a private hospital. Earlier, nurses stopped the physiotherapy, causing her body to atrophy, her joints to lock into angles, her nails to grow inwards to cut into her palms. Everything is done in Aruna’s best interests, only outsiders think otherwise. A permanently vegetative state does not permit patients to live a normal life, least of all enjoy, favourite foods, music, converse with people. It also doesn’t allow them to smile in response to an external influence. Aruna has mush tipped into a nasal-feed pipe going directly into the stomach to keep her alive.

Let’s hope for the best.

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