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Madras HC directs medical panel to examine 9-yr-old boy for passive euthanasia

The court directed the team consisting of three experts was to report whether the persistent vegetative state criteria was fulfilled and if there was any scope for the boy’s treatment.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2018 23:56 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chennai
Madra high court,euthanasia,passive euthanasia
The bench directed the director, Tamil Nadu Government Multi-Super Speciality Hospital, to provide all facilities for testing the child and provide other facilities to the experts.(PTI File Photo )

The Madras high court on Monday directed a medical expert committee to examine a nine-year-old boy, whose father had made a plea for his passive euthanasia.

The court directed the team consisting of three experts was to report whether the persistent vegetative state criteria was fulfilled and if there was any scope for the boy’s treatment.

The bench directed the director, Tamil Nadu Government Multi-Super Speciality Hospital, to provide all facilities for testing the child and provide other facilities to the experts. It also directed the expert committee to examine the child as early as possible and to report “whether the state of the child is treatable in today’s medical field or there is any scope of treatment to reverse the condition....”

The bench further directed the state and central governments to find out as to whether the government itself or any other NGOs can maintain the child, “since the child has normal respiration and digestion and the only problem is forced feeding and it is different from the other patients, whose condition is critical viz. brain death.”

R Thirumeni had approached the court, seeking permission to resort to passive euthanasia for his son, who, he submitted, is in persistent vegetative state since his birth on September 30, 2008.

The plea is the first such in the country after the Supreme Court in March this year held that the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution includes the right to live with dignity till the end and it, therefore, includes the right to die with dignity.

The petitioner’s son T Paarvendhan also suffers from epileptic seizures, between 10 and 20 times a day. Thirumeni, a tailor by profession, has to spend ₹10,000 per month to meet the medication expenses.

Since all the doctors he has consulted have concurred that there is no scope of recovery, the petitioner urged the court to permit him to withdraw all forms of food, nutrition and medicine to his son and smoothen his process of dying.

First Published: Sep 10, 2018 23:56 IST