The Bangalore woman, who had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to prevent her friend from going to Switzerland to undergo euthanasia (physician-assisted suicide) due to his terminal sickness, has now withdrawn the petition stating that she was in a “dilemma” regarding the circumstances.
The petitioner’s counsel read the following statement in court: “I would like to withdraw this petition as I came to know that (my friend) is deeply traumatised after hearing about it. I am afraid that the very purpose of filing this writ may go in vain if I proceed.” The court allowed the 47-year-old woman to withdraw her petition.
The woman, in her initial petition, had asked the central government to not allow emigration clearance to her friend, who is in his late 40s and suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – a long-term neuroinflammatory disease. While the man was undergoing a treatment called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation at AIIMS Delhi, he could not continue with it during the pandemic due to “donor availability issues”. His condition has only deteriorated over the last eight years, confining him to his bed except for a few steps inside his house. He had already visited the Zurich clinic twice earlier for a health assessment, post which he decided to undergo euthanasia in Europe, as India doesn’t allow assisted suicide at present.
The woman in her plea had warned that the man’s family and friends would suffer “irreparable loss” and “hardship”. The man, if euthanised, will leave behind a sister, and parents who are in their seventies.
The woman has further filed a plea to the Centre to form a medical board to assess the condition of her friend. Presently, the man has obtained the visa for Switzerland on the false pretext of getting treatment.
“Petitioner herein most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may direct Respondent No.1 (Ministry of External Affairs) not to grant emigration clearance to Respondent No.3 as he made false claims before Indian as well as foreign authorities for getting travel permissions; and also direct Respondent No.2 (Ministry of Health) to constitute a medical board to examine the medical condition of Respondent No.3 and provide necessary medical assistance by considering his peculiar health condition”, the plea said.
(With inputs from PTI)