Sunday, April 15, 2007


Chalpi is a 20-year-old with a deadly disease she caught, nobody knows how, a year ago. She's a daughter of our poor maid. When they went to a government hospital they were told that her illness is incurable and the girl would not survive for long. As if, the shock wasn't enough, the doctor further said that her life could be prolonged for a certain weeks if she's on a life support system.
The only obstacle is they can't afford Rs 12 lakh needed for her treatment. Should my poor maid see each day passing helplessly, while her daughter is suffering so much physical and mental torture? The girl keeps asking for death - probably she's asking for relief from the excruciating pain.
Well, what about mercy killing? Is that an option? But how can a parent even think of killing his/her own child? But does that mean they can see her suffering each moment?
To think of it, many disturbing questions keep haunting me. Why something like euthanasia is not legalised sin our democracy? What made it a law in countries like Netherlands and Belgium? Why can't a terminally ill new-born baby be given euthanasia? Is a patient's relief from suffering more important or the filial love and stupid archaic laws?
A classic case in this light is of K Venkatesh. The 25-year-old so badly wanted to donate his organs before dying but the law was a barrier. Wasn't that enough that he was undergoing a tormenting life for many years?
But what about the belief that you make bad causes by killing someone? My point is, the prayer of the mankind (the patients' relatives, may be) must be, should be so strong that the sufferer comes back to being hale and hearty - be it any disease. Or, or, or, even if he has to die, at least he should be able to get rid of his bad karma, because of which he's so much in agony, in this lifetime.
At the same time we can't ignore the mal-practices of some of the so-called doctors. And we certainly can't ignore the way judiciary works in our country. So I suggests if at all the law has to be made in favour of mercy killing, then it must be a very strict one with no loose ends.
I ask you, what do you think, should be done? Should Chalpi be given a simple injection to set her free or be left to live in pain? After all, financial burden in her case, may force the entire family on the brink of death…
Another recent case (which was shown on some news channels as well) of poor parents asking for death of their 10-year-old son, is from a Jharkhand village. Manoj mental disease is declared incurable by the village doctor and his parents can't arrange two-sqaure meal a day. Due to extreme poverty they can't bring their son to a city hospital either. So they are forced to ask for mercy killing.
Now what do you think of the law of euthanasia in our country, given the fact that 1 billion people in our country earn less then Rs 40 per day?

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