Mumbai: Elderly Couple Want to be Euthanized

From The Telegraph:

A city-based elderly couple have sought President Ram Nath Kovind’s permission for active euthanasia or “assisted suicide”, saying they “are of no use to the society or themselves”.

Narayan Lavate, 88, and Iravati, 78, who have no children and say their siblings are also no more, have likened their lives to life imprisonment and argued that keeping them alive against their wishes is a “waste of the country’s scarce resources as well as theirs”.

The residents of Charni Road in south Mumbai also believe it is unfair to compel them to wait to die till they are afflicted by a “serious ailment or deformity”, and have urged the President to make theirs as an exceptional case of “active euthanasia”. In their petition dated December 21, 2017, Lavate said they were in reasonably good health now.

Unfortunately, appeals to the Government from families requesting euthanasia or “mercy killings” aren’t that uncommon. But this appeal – apparently from a relatively affluent couple – is different from the other appeals that have been brought over the years.

Most appeals in India for some kind of assistance in ending the lives of family members come from people of limited incomes. They complain of the lack of money and/or supports to exist while supporting disabled or sick family members. Death is their *second* choice – and the appeal usually results in the family getting more support.

Back in 2011, I described the reality of “mercy killing” appeals in India in some detail, and you read it here.

Bottom line: Don’t think this latest case represents a groundswell of demand for euthanasia in India. This is not typical of Indian “right to be killed” cases – which are mostly thinly-veiled appeals for more support from desperate people.

3 thoughts on “Mumbai: Elderly Couple Want to be Euthanized

  1. The nihilism of people who think this way poses a danger to public health. Yes because of my own beliefs, I cannot imagine proclaiming myself “useless” under almost any circumstances. Let me put that aside for a moment and pretend that I share this couple’s self view of worthlessness. Fine. I don’t need the help of the state to end my life and I recognize that involving the medical establishment in it causes danger to the aged, infirmed, disabled, etc. Why do so many think they need the help of the state if they are so determined to do away with themselves? I challenge the authenticity of anyone needing help from medical professionals to commit suicide. This is a case of someone wanting their own anti-social beliefs to become mainstream. It’s all about using euthanasia laws as “moral support” for their anti-social desires.

  2. I have friends who were born in India. They tell me that most people there such as Hindus are generally against these assisted suicide practices but because of wide spread ableist attitudes and a generally poor country without accessible infrastructure some people get desperate and if attitudes and accessibility changed they would not feel forced to go the route of euthanasia or assisted suicide. Since these friends from India have made such a impact on my life hearing that a couple there wishes to die breaks my heart. I could not imagine the world without my friends from India.

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