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It's a Miracle, Says Madras HC as Condition of 9-Year-Old Boy Seeking Euthanasia Improves

Encouraged by the positive development, the child's father, a tailor struggling to meet the medical expenses, submitted in the court that the treatment be continued.

PTI

Updated:October 24, 2018, 10:35 PM IST
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It's a Miracle, Says Madras HC as Condition of 9-Year-Old Boy Seeking Euthanasia Improves
File photo of the Madras High Court.
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Chennai: A nine-year-old boy who has been in a vegetative state since birth, prompting his parents to appeal for euthanasia, has shown improvement following treatment given to him after the intervention of the Madras High Court, the court was informed.

Encouraged by the positive development, the child's father, a tailor struggling to meet the medical expenses, submitted in the court that the treatment be continued.

Appreciating the care being provided to the boy, the court, which had earlier ordered intensive treatment to him, on Wednesday said the improvement shown by the child was a "miracle".

The division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice P Rajamanickam made the observation during the hearing of a petition by R Thirumeni seeking permission for passive euthanasia for his son.

Earlier, Dr P Uma Maheswari of Anirudha Medical Organisation Private Limited explained about the treatment being given to the boy in the hospital.

After going through the records produced regarding the treatment, the bench said, "A perusal of the records would show the protocol that is being followed and the doctor has also explained about the mode of treatment."

Thirumeni, the petitioner as well as Dr Umamaheswari, would submit that the treatment has to be continued and the hospital will take care of the needs of the boy as well as his parents, including boarding and lodging.

During the hearing, the petitioner's counsel submitted that the boy showed signs of improvement in recognition of sound, in viewing surroundings, getting good sleep in the day and night and sitting on the bed with minimal support.

Assistant Solicitor General Karthikeyan, who appeared on behalf of the Centre, sought time to furnish details as regards the scheme for providing medical and financial aid to similarly placed children in the country, since a collective decision has to be taken by four departments. Similarly, the Special Government Pleader for the state government also sought two weeks as the government was in the process of taking a call on it.

Recording the submissions, the bench posted the matter for further hearing to November 8.

The plea is the first such in the country after the Supreme Court in March this year held that the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution includes the right to live with dignity till the end and it, therefore, includes the right to die with dignity.

The petitioner's son T Paarvendhan also suffers from epileptic seizures, caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain, ranging between 10 and 20 times a day when controlled by medicines. Thirumeni, a tailor by profession, has to spend Rs 10,000 per month to meet the medical expenses of his son.

The bench had on October 4 directed the central and state governments to consider whether it was possible to financially support the boy's parents through monthly financial aid and also provide medical support regularly.
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