Life is the most important gift of God to mankind. While some might find the statement argumentative, some believe it with closed eyes. But what happens when a person wants to end life at his/her own will after succumbing to hard times? A 45-year old man from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu has pled the District Collector for euthanasia, also known as mercy killing. Yes, the man who was once a painter by profession seeks mercy killing after he fell from a building and was left paralyzed waist down.
The man who once enjoyed his hale and hearty life working as a house painter was left partially paralysed after the life changing accident. The petitioner, who once used to climb up high walls to fill them with beautiful colours, now roams around in a wheelchair. His appeal to the state government to allow him for mercy killing helped him get media attention. The man, who seems to have lost the will to be dragged on wheelchair, wishes to donate his organs to the needy ones.
Euthanasia or mercy killing is an extremely controversial topic in the world and India is no exception. Even though mercy killing is still to find ground, the Supreme Court on March 7, 2011, had allowed passive euthanasia by means of the withdrawal of life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state. Meanwhile, in October 2017, the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on the will of living in passive euthanasia cases. Earlier, the Centre opposed the living will in ‘passive euthanasia’ case and told the apex court that it could be enormously misused.
While many may find this story heart touching and might feel sympathetic towards the man, the crucial part of the story which still gets ignored is the lack of health facilities in the nation. Falling from a building while performing his duties was not his fault but, putting an end to a life because of unavailability of medical facilities for being poor, is something that makes us feel shameful over the development we have achieved in past 70 years.