Euthanasia Plea: Tamil Nadu government shows mercy to 14-year-old girl

Chennai: She shares her name with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Fortunately, the cries for help of this ‘Amma’ in Erode district for the promise of a better tomorrow of her special child are being heard.

The Collector of Erode VK Shanmugham has told NDTV that the state government is ‘willing to consider Jaya’s application for medical assistance and a house’.

A few days ago, the poor and helpless mother created a flutter in southern Tamil Nadu when she declared her desperation to end her 14-year-old daughter’s life. Her daughter has been suffering from cerebral palsy since her birth. Wheelchair-bound, the girl has been unable to walk, speak or even recognise anyone. Her husband’s wages as a carpenter are hardly enough to buy food and medicines.

“She keeps crying through the night. We have no clue why as she cannot communicate anything to us. I have struggled all along. This decision to seek mercy killing is our last resort to end her suffering”, said her mother, with a voice choked with emotion.

Courts have held that the Right to Live does not include The Right to Die. As it stands, the law is clear and equates euthanasia with an attempt to commit suicide, punishable under Section 309 with simple imprisonment up to one year. The Erode Collector has conveyed this to the parents of the 14-year-old girl.

The girl gets a monthly pension of a thousand rupees from the government. With more help in the offing, the authorities hope the mother will give up her emotional plea.

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