Cancer-stricken rickshaw puller appeals for euthanasia in Odisha

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Sambalpur: A poor rickshaw puller suffering from brain cancer for the last eight months here has sought the District Collector’s permission for euthanasia.

Following unbearable pain and inability to bear the expensive treatment, the patient’s wife on Tuesday met the District Collector Samarth Verma and submitted a hand written petition appealing him for ‘mercy killing’.

“My husband does not want to live anymore. Half of his body has decayed. Therefore, I request that he be allowed euthanasia,” she pleaded before the Collector.

The patient Hadu Pattnaik used to pull rickshaw for livelihood while his wife Rima works as domestic help and the earning is very little to treat her husnabd.

Adding burden to the couple’s misery, the younger son of the poverty-ridden couple died four years back due to jaundice and his three children are staying with them.

The letter said that Hadu was taken to VIMSAR in Burla for treatment but the hospital authorities returned him saying that he cannot be treated there.

Meanwhile, the district administration has sanctioned Rs 30,000 soon after receiving the application for the treatment.

Sambalpur Collector Samarth Verma has assured her to provide all kind of assistance for the patient’s treatment.

“I have discussed the matter with the director of VIMSAR and soon a doctor will be sent to the patient’s house to assess his condition,” informed Verma.

It may be noted that the Supreme Court on March 9, legalized passive euthanasia and allowed ‘living will’ to terminally-ill patients.

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