Couple seek euthanasia

Mumbai: A city-based elderly couple have sought President Ram Nath Kovind's permission for active euthanasia or "assisted suicide", saying they "are of no use to the society or themselves".

Narayan Lavate, 88, and Iravati, 78, who have no children and say their siblings are also no more, have likened their lives to life imprisonment and argued that keeping them alive against their wishes is a "waste of the country's scarce resources as well as theirs".

The residents of Charni Road in south Mumbai also believe it is unfair to compel them to wait to die till they are afflicted by a "serious ailment or deformity", and have urged the President to make theirs as an exceptional case of "active euthanasia". In their petition dated December 21, 2017, Lavate said they were in reasonably good health now.

"The President has the powers for showing mercy to those on death row. We are serving life imprisonment and the President can show us mercy by allowing us to end our lives," Narayan, who retired from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation in 1989, said.

"In Switzerland, there is an organisation called Dignitas for those who wish to end their lives. Qualified doctors who assist them in the process are not charged for abetment to suicide. We became members of the organisation but cannot go there since I don't have a passport."

In their plea, the couple have said that they had "already committed to donate our bodies after death and whatever little wealth we have to the state treasury". PTI


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