August 21, 2018
CHENNAI: A man has approached the Madras High Court seeking its permission to resort to passive euthanasia for his nine-year-old son, who has been in a vegetative state since his birth in 2008.
According to R. Thirumeni, a tailor by profession, his son Paarvendan suffers from epileptic seizures, caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain ranging between 10 and 20 times a day when controlled by medicines.
“The maximum number of seizures he has suffered in a day is 150,” Thirumeni’s counsel N. Kavitha Rameshwar said.
Admitting the plea, the division bench comprising Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice S. Bhaskaran directed the State Government to suggest a panel of doctors, who could give their recommendations to members of an expert committee to be constituted by the court.
The committee would examine the child and report to the court that posted the matter to August 23.
Thirumeni spends Rs.10,000 a month to meet the medical expenses of his son, his counsel said.
Since all the doctors he has consulted have said that there is no scope of recovery, he urged the court to permit him to withdraw all forms of food, nutrition and medicine to his son and smoothen his process of dying.
“Paarvendan was born on September 30, 2008, at Kaatumannarkoil. As the child did not cry after the birth, he was referred to child neurologists. On November 6, 2008, it was confirmed that my son was suffering from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. He is in a state of wakefulness without any awareness about himself or about anything around him,” Thirumeni said.
“There is a total motor disability and he cannot even sit but he is in a supine stretched out position. He was sleep-wake cycles and must be fed mashed semisolid food forcibly through his mouth. All his bowel and bladder movements are involuntary like any other function of the body,” Kavitha Rameshwar said.