A 48-year-old Noida-based man has had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2014. To end his suffering, he is allegedly planning a trip to Switzerland for physician-assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia. However, a 49-year-old Bengaluru woman, who claims to be a close friend of the man, has filed a petition in Delhi High Court to stop the man from undergoing assisted suicide.
At present, a terminally ill patient cannot opt for euthanasia in India.
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.
The woman in her plea warns that the man should not be allowed to travel to Europe lest his 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.
“It is pertinent to mention that there is no financial constraints for providing [him] with better treatments within India or abroad but he is now adamant on his decision to go for Euthanasia, which also affects the life of age-old parents miserably,” the petition stated.
According to the petition, had travelled to Zurich in June, after obtaining a Schengen visa, which allows unrestricted travel to 26 countries in Europe. His travel purpose was to conclude the first round of psychological evaluation for euthanasia.
“According to the information received by the Petitioner, his application was accepted by Dignitas (a Zurich-based organisation), first evaluation was approved and (he is) now awaiting the final decision by the end of August 2022,” the petition claimed.
The Supreme Court, in its landmark ruling in 2018, made passive euthanasia legal for terminally ill patients, allowing them to decline life support measures, and letting the families of patients in an incurable coma withdraw such measures.
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