Andhra woman seeks euthanasia for son

A 64–year–old widow in Andhra Pradesh has sought euthanasia for her son—a 36-year-old graduate in aeronautical science who has been in a vegetative state for 15 years—for she is unable to take care of him due to poverty.

C Janardhan, the son of agricultural labourers, had got a job offer from abroad and was preparing to go to Australia in 1997 when he was left an invalid after a road accident.
Lakshmamma, a widow in Chittoor district, has filed a petition in a court at Madanapalle, seeking mercy killing for him, as he has been a vegetative state for the past 15 years.

The woman told the court that with her meagre widow’s pension of Rs 500 she was unable to meet the medical expenses for her bedridden son who suffered brain damage in a road accident.

She said her husband had died eight years ago due to helplessness and frustration after seeing their son’s plight.

“I don’t know who will take care of him after my death. I can’t see him suffer any longer.

If my son gets mercy killing, I can die in peace,” she said in the petition. The court on Monday admitted her petition for hearing and issued notices to the district collector and health department, asking them why the government can’t extend medical help to Janardhan.

Second additional district judge Sumalatha, however, said the plea for mercy killing was unacceptable. She said nobody has a right to take another’s life. The next hearing will be held on March 3. Lakshmamma, a resident of Danduvaripalle village, said she tried in vain to get government assistance to meet the medical expenses of her son.

Despite working in the fields throughout the day, the woman is not earning enough. With her failing health, she is worried about her son’s future.

Janardhan did his engineering in aeronautical science. After receiving a lucrative job offer in Australia, he was on his way to Bangalore for a visa when he was knocked down by a truck in 1997.

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