Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the central and state governments to inform the court as to whether it is possible to extend financial and medical aid regularly to parents of a 9-year-old boy, whose father sought permission for his passive euthanasia on the ground that the boy has been in Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) since birth.
After perusing medical expert’s report that the clinical status of the child does not fit into criteria for PVS, however, his condition cannot be reversed by any medical or surgical therapy, a division bench headed by Justice N. Kirubakaran, who was emotionally upset, gave the above directive.
The bench comprising Justices Kirubakaran and S.Baskaran said, “From the medical expert’s report, it is very clear that the clinical status of the child does not fit into criteria for Persistent Vegetative State, however, his condition cannot be reversed by any medical or surgical therapy. He needs good support and care consisting of nutrition, physiotherapy and antiepileptic drugs. The report of the experts has been read out to the father of the child and explained about the same. It is also pointed out that one NGO called “Prem Nikethan”, Arakkonam, is interested to take care of the child and provide necessary support for his well-being and requested to send the child to their place to look after him. However, the father, who is present before this court, is not inclined to give the child to anybody else and he alone would take care of the child, if the prayer sought for by the petitioner is not granted by this court. It is understood from his reaction that he is more emotionally attached to his child, whic
h is obviously expected from a father”.
Kavitha Rameshwar, counsel appearing for the petitioner, sought time to go through the report and to give her response. Assistant solicitor general G. Karthikeyan submitted that it was possible to get financial support from various parties. However, the fate of the child has to be decided taking into consideration the plight of the child if the parents were absent in the later point of time, he added. “Since the petitioner is not interested to hand over the child to the NGO, this court would like to know both from the central government and the state government as to whether it is possible to financially support his parent by way of monthly financial aid and also to provide medical support regularly,” the bench said.
The bench said the central and state governments were further directed to give their response as to whether there was any scheme to provide support to the parents of similarly placed children by giving financial aid as well as medical aid. If no such scheme was available, why not the state government and the central government formulate a scheme by which the parents of similarly placed children would be able to maintain their children without any financial burden by provision of appropriate financial aid and medical aid by the governments throughout the life of the children, the bench added and posted to October 23, further hearing of the petition filed by R. Thirumeni, father of the child T. Paavendhan....