According to her husband, Sithalakshmi went into a coma after a botched procedure at a government hospital

For the past two months, S. Subramaniam, a 39-year-old daily wage labourer from Kanyakumari district has been going from hospitals to court and back again seeking treatment for his wife Sithalakshmi, who is in a coma.

A few days ago, following a court direction, he arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH). Mr. Subramaniam is now asking the government to allow euthanasia for his wife.

“I have already spent Rs. 3 lakh on my wife’s treatment. I have an eight-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter to care for and I don’t have much money. Earlier, the doctors asked me to take her back home but I live in a rented house. How will I take care of her and what am I to do? ” he asked.

Mr. Subramaniam is reported to have submitted a petition at the State secretariat asking for the mercy killing of his wife. “The government should either take care of all the medical needs of my wife or they should allow for her mercy killing,” he said.

According to Mr. Subramaniam, his wife, 31-year-old Sithalakshmi, went into a coma after a botched surgery at a government hospital in Kanyakumari district on March 3. “She was fine the day before the operation. She only had a thyroid problem. After the operation, the doctors told me the ventilator wasn’t working properly. After the surgery, she did not regain consciousness and went into a coma,” he said.

Sithalakshmi was shifted to a government hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where too, there was no progress. A doctor at GH said that everything possible was being done for Sithalakshmi. “However, the prognosis is not bright at all,” he said.

Health secretary J. Radhakrishnan said that he had not yet received any petition with regard to euthanasia in this particular case. “In any case, our hands are tied. It is a legal matter,” he said.

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