The heart-wrenching open letter of this Mumbai elderly couple who want euthanasia

Euthanasia is a very gentle and quiet death, which happens without painful convulsions

“If the President of India has the constitutional power to pardon life sentences and he should also have the power to allow the right to death”, said an elderly couple who want ‘active-euthanasia’.

While talking to ANI, Narayan Lavate (89) and Iravati Lavate (79) from Mumbai told that they have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking permission for ‘active euthanasia’, which means helping a person die on his or her request through direct action because they think they are of no use to the society.

Euthanasia is a very gentle and quiet death, which happens without painful convulsions.

In a heart-wrenching letter to the President, the elderly couple asked for active-euthanasia saying that they are of no use to the society now and cannot contribute anything. Despite mentioning that they don’t suffer from any major health or financial hardship, the couple wrote about having no desire to live.

Narayan Lavate

Narayan Lavate (Courtesy: ANI)

The couple had decided early in their life to not have children because they didn’t want anyone to be held responsible if they ever fall ill.

Narayan retired in 1989 from the Maharashtra State Transport Corporation, while his wife Iravati was a former principal of a High School in Mumbai.

Also read: In this Tamil Nadu village, people are killed as soon as they turn old

Iravati Lavate

Iravati Lavate (Courtesy: ANI)

What is Active-Euthanasia?

It is conducted when the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician. Active-euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

What is Passive-Euthanasia?

It is defined as the withdrawal of life support, treatment or nutrition with the deliberate intention to hasten a terminally ill-patient’s death.
In 2011, the Supreme Court permitted passive euthanasia in Aruna Shanbaug’s case. Aruna Shanbaug died in 2015 after being on life support for several days. It is to be noted that, earlier in October 2017, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on ‘living will’ in cases of passive euthanasia.

What is Living-Will?

A living will is a document that explains whether or not one wants to be kept on life support if he/she becomes terminally ill and will die shortly without life support, or fall into a persistent vegetative state. A living will becomes effective only when one cannot communicate desires on his/her own.