De­bat­ing a ‘liv­ing will’

The Hindu - - EDITORIAL -

The whole de­bate on eu­thana­sia and its in­tri­ca­cies seem in­fruc­tu­ous in a na­tion where mil­lions of peo­ple lack ac­cess to af­ford­able health care (“The will to die”, Oct. 12 ). Should we be de­bat­ing peo­ple’s right to die when their right to live has been com­pro­mised by poor health-care fa­cil­i­ties in many parts of In­dia? Peo­ple who make “liv­ing wills” would ef­fec­tively be sign­ing their own death war­rants, though pulling the plug will hap­pen only un­der the due process of the law. It is facile to ex­pect that the eu­thana­sia law and its pro­to­cols would be ad­hered to in let­ter and spirit how­ever “ro­bust” the safe­guards may be, given that the law com­mands nei­ther fear nor re­spect in our so­ci­ety. With old-age homes mush­room­ing ev­ery­where, the need of the hour is to ef­fec­tively ad­dress the so­cial, phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and eco­nomic needs of the grow­ing el­derly pop­u­la­tion. V.N. Mukun­dara­jan, Thiruvananthapuram more let­ters on­line:­ters

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