With reference to the three articles on euthanasia (Open Page, March 13), the important question is: who is competent to decide on letting a terminally ill patient die? The patient? He or she may be in a vegetative state. The relatives? They may have vested interests. The doctor? What about his or her professional commitment to save lives? The arguments supporting either view are equally sound. My own view is that, under a system that incorporates stringent medical, legal and social safeguards, every person must be empowered to decide the course of treatment in the event of his or her falling ill terminally.

Haragopal,

Chennai

Who can read another person's mind? A person in a coma is in a world of his or her own; and just because we do not understand that world, how can we decide that he or she has nothing to express? If we were in a coma and understand that doctors and lawyers have decided to end our life, how would we feel?

Gulnar Khan,

Chennai

I agree that science can't give us an indication that an unconscious patient is in pain but facial expressions like contraction of muscles, silent shedding of tears, etc., can express his feelings. With a little attention, we can identify such symptoms in all patients who are in a vegetative state. The mind and the body are inseparable. On the basis of one or two cases, we cannot reach a conclusion on making a law on euthanasia.

Navin Katyal,

New Delhi

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