Euthanasia or Swechhamrityu: Let’s be practical yaar!

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 on this site.

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.

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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 our 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.

Sumitra Padmanabhan

G.S. Humanists’ Association, Kolkata

[E mail : sumitra_humanist@hotmail.com]

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2 Responses to “Euthanasia or Swechhamrityu: Let’s be practical yaar!”

  1. Rudranil ghosh 10 March 2011 at 11:56 AM #

    @Sumitra…it’s true that there r certain diseases for which till date there’s no proper treatment & under such circumtances it’s the poor ppl who suffer the most,bcoz such diseases do happen to rich as well as poor.so naturally the poor ppl would opt for Euthenasia,even if it means seeing end of one’s own chilren(a poor couple in bihar has requested to the CM for granting such wish to their 2 children suffering frm rare disease…source NDTV NEWS)and yet again such if wish is legalised there’s no guarentee that ppl will not take advantage of it and mentally force the ailing person to opt for such option,so that ultimaletly they end up taking his /her property.so i think if at all Euthanasia has to be legalised,a set of extreme rare diseases has to be shortlisted by a panel consisting of legal experts,doctors,social workers.The Euthanasia law has to be extremly leakproof so that we don’t hv 2 c cases such as parents/siblings of a spastic person applying for his/her death when they can easily take care of such persons.If we look into history “SATI” pratha was sort of a swechhamrityu,but ultimaletly it ended up being a savage act,where windows without children were forced against thier will to perform sati,and ultimately the relatives and the scoundrel bramhins ended up taking her share of property…so at the end it came down to the monetary matters wic made the society fit for cannibals and savages.so there r many pros and cons to Euthanasia wic has to be dealt with before legalising it.

  2. Abhi 31 August 2011 at 10:06 PM #

    My only question is who is the Govt. or the court to debar me from taking my own life. Is my life a social property? Secondly, those against death-wish often argue that terminating a life amounts to killing, hence suicide is a crime . How many people were killed in the name of war and capital punishment. If death is such an abominable thing, why not immortalize every human on this planet?
    Actually the Govts in most countries are totalitarian. They think that they only have the right to dictate a citizen how to live and die.


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