National » Tamil Nadu

Updated: July 3, 2012 03:46 IST

Woman appeals for daughter’s mercy killing

S. Ramesh
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Jaya with her daughter at the Erode Collectorate on Monday. Photo: M. Govarthan
Jaya with her daughter at the Erode Collectorate on Monday. Photo: M. Govarthan

Collector promises to get girl suffering from cerebral palsy admitted to a home

The grievances redress meeting held every Monday at the District Collectorate saw an unusual petition being submitted. Among many requests for protection of lives and livelihood, this one appealed for ending a 14-year-old girl’s life.

And the appeal came from none other than the girl’s mother A. Jaya. She wanted euthanasia for her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy. A native of Kumbakonam, Ms. Jaya said she had to make the tough decision as she was not able to see her daughter, Mathumitha, suffer anymore.

Collector V.K. Shanmugam, however, said the administration would take steps to admit the girl to a home for differently abled persons. “We will speak to the management of a home and admit her,” he said.

“She cannot walk or speak. She cannot even identify us. She sits all the time in her wheelchair or lies on her bed. The only thing she does is cry. I am taking care of her with great difficulty and I am worried about her future,” Ms. Jaya said, tears welling up in her eyes.

The woman said she and her husband M. Alagirisamy, a carpenter, moved to Erode seven years ago. They made several attempts to admit their daughter to special schools and homes.

“But they do not want to admit Mathumitha as she cannot walk or speak. We took her to hospitals in Madurai, Tiruchi and Thanjavur,” Ms. Jaya said.

The meagre income earned by her husband and the monthly assistance of Rs.1,000 for the differently abled were not enough to take care of the medical expenses of Mathumitha. Disapproving of the idea of mercy killing, psychiatrist at Erode Government Hospital V.A. Nandakumar said: “The girl seems to be suffering from a type of cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder that occurs due to various reasons. There is no known cure, but the girl can be put through rehabilitation. There are a number of homes for children with cerebral palsy and rehabilitation programmes.”

Euthanasia is not wholly allowed in India, but the Supreme Court last year ruled in the Aruna Shanbaug case that “passive euthanasia” or withdrawal of life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state was legal and laid down guidelines.

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Many parents are pulling with their child having cerebral palsy with multiple disability - severe type. This case should see by the rehabilitation centre for the moving disorders at Hyderabad. The help of neurologist,Child psychiatrist, Psychologist for Parent counselling would be a great help in this case.More over Homeopathic treatment under registered Homeopathic practitioner may also be a great help - if such doctor is available.

from:  Dr.A.Palit.
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 16:27 IST

I think in 21st century no one has the right to decide when an
individual can die none other than themselves. - True. But when the
individual in question is totally unable to decide, when their life may
have been reduced to a medical existence, isn't it a dishonor to them
that we keep them in existence merely because taking the extreme step
prickles us?

from:  Aritra Gupta
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 07:55 IST

The mother's plea has a ring of pragmatism in it. No mother wants her child to die in front of her own eyes. The law of the land and the Justice system has to look at mercy killing as a way of freeing the soul from the burden of a miserable existence. Jaya, the mother is dying everyday seeing the plight of her daughter. And the daughter is not having the quality of life which nature has provided to the rest of us. Imagine the future of the child, if the child has to survive her parents. I write this comment with a heavy heart.

from:  Mani Sandilya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 07:38 IST

If the mother cannot take care- mercy killing must be allowed. If there is no future for this girl, after her parents she will be left onto the streets. Hats off to the Asian grandmas, grandpas, moms, dads, brothers, sisters all the previous generations who have taken care of the helpless..Government cannot be responsible for every life. Life is precious but it takes only few seconds for the breathing to stop. But it is painful to live that too without enjoying even a single moment in a lifetime or having a memory. Mom and Dad must be given a choice since the kid cannot choose. I have lost the idea that creation is divine after seeing all the errors in creation and that too when if affects innocent children while the crooks are bailed out from jail and smile when they get down from the police van. Sathyameva Jayatey - after you wins and lives..

from:  Pritiga
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 01:58 IST

Such a pitty!!
Poor mother, just think of her situation..

from:  Keerthana
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 18:15 IST

I think in 21st century no one has the right to decide when an individual can die none other than themselves. Unfortunately this child hasn't got the capacity to decide. But a civilised society should offer both monetary and physicall help for the child. Any disabled person has got the same right as others to lead a active life. But in a highly immoral and corrupt society such as India, I doubt that will happen. She can either apply for an asylum in one of the western country where all those children are well looked after at govt. expenses. The reason she quote for asylum seeking is our constitution and society ill treat the differently abled people.

from:  R.Manivarmane
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 13:54 IST

The Government should come front and support the mother by providing her either financiallay or by medical treatment.
Its very difficult to take care of a person who is not physically well. So we come togather ans support her.

from:  Afroz Alam
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 11:21 IST

The collector's solution is very good- provided he can arrange such a facility with no
expenditure for parents and providing them access and monetary support and
facility to travel to meet the girl to give the emotional satisfaction to parents and the
girl. Ending the life is not desirable-perhaps the girl may improve-let us give a
chance and expect that the collector has the powers to arrange this .

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Jul 3, 2012 at 05:31 IST
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