Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Aruna Shanbaug case: SC does not allow euthanasia

I have been keenly following the Aruna Shanbaug case in which the Supreme Court gave its verdict yesterday. You can read the details of the case and the verdict here. The court turned down the plea of Pinky Virani who was fighting for allowing Aruna Shanbaug to die rather than keeping her alive when she could not lead a life of dignity.

This is a very tricky case. On the one hand you have a woman who has been confined to a bed for the last three decades in a semi-vegitative state. On the other hand, she has not expressed any desire to die and she is not totally in a coma as she consumes food put in her mouth and expresses emotions too.

I think the Supreme Court's judgement is right.

The desire to live is a very basic, primordial thing. Every living cell wants to live. So, when there is no means to determine that a person wants to die, there is no option but to assume that he or she wants to live, in whatever form.

I have often wondered if ever, I were in a similar situation, what would I want? I really have no answer. It is impossible to say without being in that situation. At that point, would my suffering be so much that I would want it ended? Or would my desire to live supersede that desire?

I really hope I never have to be in that situation!

6 comments:

Madras Hash said...

In case you fear being in a state where you cannot express a wish, you need to leave behind a "living will" (hope I got the term right) where you leave the decision on care/treatment to ONE individual who you trust will take the right one. Even within a family you will have multiple opinions and it is best to request Doctors to take a final decision based on just ONE family input.

My mother, I know, has a fear of going in to a vegetative state as some of her peers/friends have done. She just wants a quick exit when her time comes. Obviously, Aruna's subconscious thinks on different lines since she has willed herself to be alive all these years without any active medical intervention.

Kamal D Shah said...

The problem Vinod is I find it difficult to decide now without being in the situation! If ever I am in that situation what really will I want - if I am in a position to know what I want.

Will I be able to think? If I am able to think, I am not sure I will want to die. Maybe I will want to end it. But I am not sure!

At this point it seems that a quick exit makes sense but I am not sure when it comes to that, I will really want a quick exit.

Shravan Kumar. M said...

It is really tough to hear people talking these things... god sake... hope everyone wud be good always and enjoy their lives as usual :)

Madras Hash said...

Kamal: That is a brutally honest answer.

Still leaves you with the question.

Sudheesh Titto said...

It is interesting to see your comment on this (I was expecting)... because I didn't have an idea or a suggestion about this matter when i saw this on news.. I was totally confused..... still I would say.. if I was in the same position and able to respond... I would have chosen to end "ALL" not leaving any chance and tension to others.......... god knows what she thinks....

Sudheesh Titto said...
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