Debate the right to pull the plug
Apropos of Preeti Singh Saksena’s article Death on demand (July 4), it is the middle-class and poor who suffer the most in private and government hospitals. For example, putting critically ill patients on ventilators has become a profit-making mechanism in many hospitals. So the legal ambiguity surrounding euthanasia must be debated with much consideration, especially about how the poor will be affected if mercy killing is at all legalised.
The decision to opt for death voluntarily is not half as outrageous as having to suffer unending pain and anguish. But the problem arises if the patient is incompetent/unable to decide and others have to take the critical decision on his/her behalf. In that case it becomes a major moral issue.
Inspired by the article on euthanasia, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss might like to consider a comprehensive legislation on the subject. But I have my fears about making mercy killing legal in India. In a country like ours, there is ample scope for mischief and malpractice and only the fear of falling foul of the law keeps us from operating outside it. In countries where euthanasia is legal, the population is relatively small, and there is less load on the health infrastructure. Doctors there are less corruptible and more equipped to deal with the issue of euthanasia.
Narendra K. Nayak,
The poverty of politics
I agree with Suhel Seth’s contention in Indian politics: Don’t try to match colours (July 4) that Indian politics is in a deplorable condition. Political parties are busy creating all sorts of communal tensions among ethnic, religious and cultural factions, while the lives of the average Indian middle-class and poor are deteriorating. It is time we seriously take up measures to improve Indian politics and put it back on the progressive track where it once was.
Rocky passage for pilgrims
Apropos of Sonia Jabbar’s article Politics of pilgrimage (June 30), it is unfair to exclude Kashmiri Pandits from the debate and attribute only a Muslim character to the Valley. The journey to Amarnath has been targeted several times in the past as it has been seen as symbolising the continued ‘Indian’ presence in Kashmir. The very fact that the pilgrims prefer lota and the woods suggests a lack of basic facilities along the arduous route to the cave temple. The Hindus of Jammu and those in the rest of India are justified in their demand.