On a day the Supreme Court rejected Mumbai-based nurse Aruna Shanbaug's euthanasia plea, Rediff.com's M I Khan speaks to the mother of two teenaged boys suffering from a rare muscular disorder, whose appeal before the government that they be allowed to die, as they have been immobile for over a decade, remains unheard.
A woman from Bihar has been pleading that her two disabled sons -- aged 16 and 13 -- suffering from a rare muscular disorder for over a decade, be allowed to die.
Asha Devi, a resident of Ratwada village in Muzaffarpur district, finds herself helpless as she is unable to bear the cost of medical treatment. Her husband is a farmer and they find it difficult to make ends meet. For the past three years she has been running from pillar to post pleading to the Centre and the Bihar government to grant her two sons mercy-killing.
"I have appealed to the Centre and Bihar government for euthanasia on behalf of my sons, who are suffering from muscular dystrophy. If they can't accept my plea they should provide for the costly medical treatment abroad, as it is not available in India," Devi told rediff.com on Monday.
"It's unfortunate that being a mother I have made a mercy killing plea for my two sons instead of life. I cannot see their pain and suffering, which have only been increasing over the years due to lack of proper treatment," she added.
According to her, doctors said the genetic disorder has crippled her two sons by killing their muscle cells and tissues. "I have consulted a number of doctors for their treatment, including some in New Delhi and Mumbai and approached popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev as well, but no progress has been made," she said.
Devi was told by doctors time and again that the disorder was permanent and they would never be able to lead normal lives.
"Doctors told me that the treatment is only available in the United States, but is very costly. It's out of my reach," she said.
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder in which a patient's muscles become weak and lose their elasticity, causing disability. Due to the disease, Devi's sons cannot speak, stand and are dependent on her and their father to carry out their chores.