Chennai: The Madras high court appointed a three-member committee to select experts to offer suggestion on a passive euthanasia plea of a father for his 9-year-old son, who is in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) since his birth in 2008.
A division bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice S Baskaran, before which a petition filed by R Thirumeni came up for hearing on Friday, appointed doctor Reginald, neurosurgeon, P Ramachandran, paediatrician, Uma Maheswari, chief medical officer, Central Government Health Scheme, Chennai as the members of the committee. The bench has asked them to suggest experts to examine T. Paavendhan, within two weeks.
The plea, which is a first of its kind in the country after the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, through its order dated March 18 in Common Cause case, 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.
On August 22, the bench directed the Centre and state governments to suggest an independent panel of senior doctors to recommend expert members to the committee to examine the child and posted the matter for further hearing to August 23.
Unable to bear the agony of watching his son suffer elliptic seizure every day, R Thirumeni of Kattumanarkoil, Cuddalore, a tailor, had approached the Madras High court seeking his mercy killing. Counsel N Kavitha Rameshwar, appearing on behalf of Thirumeni, submitted that Paavendhan has been in vegetative state since birth on September 30, 2008. On November 6, 2008 it was confirmed that he was suffering from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).
Paavendhan suffers epileptic seizures upto 20 times a day when controlled by medicines. At times the maximum number of such attacks goes upto 150 in a single day.
Thirumeni has been earning a meagre amount and has managed spend to spend Rs 10,000 per month towards treatment of his son with the fond hope of making him stand on his own legs....