A unique case has been filed in the Delhi High Court where a woman has sought to stop her friend from travelling to Switzerland to undergo euthanasia.
According to the petitioner, a resident of Bengaluru, her friend who lives in Delhi has been granted a medical visa to Switzerland for getting treatment Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Got visa for treatment, not euthanasia
However, the woman claims that her friend, who is in his late 40s is travelling to Switzerland for physician-assisted suicide, and not for treatment.
The complainant has sought direction from the court to the central government not to grant “emigration clearance” to her friend and that a medical board should be constituted to examine his condition.
What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a “complex, debilitating, long-term neuro inflammatory disease” and the petitioner’s friend, who had the first symptom of the disease in 2014, is “now completely bed bound” and can only “walk a few steps inside home”, the plea informs.
The petitioner has stated that her friend was earlier receiving treatment at AIIMS but the same could not continue during the pandemic due to “donor availability issues”.
What the complainant said
“There are no financial constraints for providing respondent No.3 (petitioner’s friend) with better treatment within India or abroad. But he is now adamant on his decision to go for euthanasia, which also affect the life of age old parents miserably. It is humbly submitted that there still persists a ray of hope for the betterment of his condition,” said the plea.
The parents, family members and friends of the petitioner’s friend would suffer an irreparable loss and hardship and will be going through an agonising moment if the prayers are not allowed, the plea said.
Euthanasia rules in India
In March 2018, in a historic verdict, Supreme Court ruled that human beings have the right to die with dignity and allowed passive euthanasia for terminally ill people, under strict guidelines.
Passive euthanasia is a condition where there is a withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient.
The court had also set strict guidelines for carrying out the mandate of a ‘living will by specifying who is authorised to give effect to it.
The Delhi, resident, who is allegedly seeking euthanasia in Switzerland can’t do it in India as his medical condition is not terminally-ill.
A law for allowing passive euthanasia – ‘Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients Bill, 2016’ is still pending in Parliament.
News Source : IT News