We want to strengthen our campaign for legalizing Euthanasia in India. Seriously. Before that, I request all readers to go through the entire essay “Euthanasia or death-wish” available here.
Those who agree with the idea are free to offer new points, ask questions based on the article mentioned above and design a short draft for starting signature campaign -in print and via internet. All are welcome to join and help.
The need is more now than ever. With the government’s apathy towards the needs of poorer classes, with no easy insurance scheme in sight, with no chance of free healthcare in the near future, it is reasonable that people would like to have an option. I mean, why spend all our hard-earned money on doctors, pathologists and nursing homes? We even need to bribe the government hospital staff for common assistance. We still suffer and die in the end, don’t we?
We can eat well, read and travel more with that kind of money and have a better life in general even if a little shorter; I mean minus those months in the hospital, in Intensive Care Unit or under ventilation. Isn’t money meant for buying better stuff?
I see thousands of people turning paranoid as they approach old age. They save money for treatment, they suffer from constant fear and some become patients of depression. No, not in fear of death, but in fear of suffering alone in ill-equipped and expensive hospitals. For example, morphine is in acute shortage. So, a cancer patient is often forced to suffer acute pain. What right do hospitals have to keep you in exchange of good money when they cannot offer relief? The patients’ suffering does not end there. They lose all their life’s savings, their family suffers physically and mentally. Finally death comes to all when the bereaved are financially drained too. It is a sort of catch 22 situation and people after a healthy, happy, active life surely do not deserve this in the end.
Legalizing euthanasia does not mean that people will rush for it. It will only assure us that in irreversible cases or intolerably painful situations, there is some solace. We need not be blackmailed into spending and suffering simultaneously. And it will be entirely as per our own will. No ‘benevolent’ family member need to take the decision of hospitalizing on our behalf.
Only this knowledge would improve the quality of life. People in the age-group of 60-90 can then really enjoy life. Having control over our own life –and death is a wonderful idea. In fact it’s beautiful.
[So, we request the government to give a thought, go through the pros and cons, and make ‘Swechhamrityu’ legal in India.
In fact, clearing the hospital bill of anything from 25000 to 25, 00,000 while taking delivery of the lifeless body of your near ones is a common experience many of us are faced with in our life. And we are lucky, if you consider the 78% of Indians who cannot spend more than 20 rupees per day. As long as the government can spend crores for keeping military and police force, there is no logic behind not providing medical help free of cost. So, logically speaking, the provision for euthanasia in exceptional situations, or after a certain age is a must.
What I mean to highlight is that death should be at a person’s own will always and everywhere. In India it is all the more essential and urgent because of the social system.]
Sumitra Padmanabhan is the General Secretary of the Humanists’ Association, Kolkata
[Website: www.srai.org ; E mail : firstname.lastname@example.org]