Recent developments in Aruna Shaunbag’s on-going case have shook the country once again. Even though the Supreme Court turned down her plea for mercy killing or active euthanasia, actor Hrithik Roshan feels that "any act that ends consistent suffering must be condoned."
The actor recently played the role of a magician, Ethan, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s last release, Guzaarish. In the film, Ethan too files a plea for euthanasia, only to be turned down by the court. "Euthanasia must be allowed in cases that merit it. But a strong system needs to be set in place to process the information, and decide whether a person needs it or not," says the actor, adding that processing the cases will be of paramount importance. A few days ago, the Supreme Court took the decision to turn down a petition seeking Shaunbag’s mercy killing saying that the hospital staff had expressed willingness to continue supporting her.
However, the court also made it legal to withdraw a life-support system to those in a permanently vegetative state, known as passive euthanasia.
"This is a good beginning. In time, as we evolve as a society, it will become easier to see reason in the concept of euthanasia as a boon for those who are suffering to a degree which you and me cannot even imagine," adds Roshan.
Ever since Bhansali started making the film, the issue of mercy killing has constantly been in the news. Around the release of Guzaarish, the filmmaker had stated that “it has never been handled in Indian cinema before, but it is a very important subject.”
According to the filmmaker, human suffering cannot be comprehended simply. “If you can make an entertaining film with big stars and a big platform, and still talk about it as a sensitive issue, then that is what we are doing. We are not propagating it or taking sides,” Bhansali had said.