On 23rd June, Times Of India brought to light the heartrending story of a poor couple from Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh who had moved the lower court seeking its permission to either allow the mercy-killing of their ailing 8-months-old daughter Gnana Sai or to direct the state government to bear the medical expenses.
Ramanappa and his wife Saraswati hail from Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh which is also the native place of Chief Minister of the state, N Chandrababu Naidu. Ramanappa is a worker in a grocery store. The couple occupies a small house near Bathalapuram railway gate in Nuthalacheruvu mandal.
The duo had petitioned the junior civil judge at Tamballapalle to either grant them permission for passive mercy killing of their daughter or to direct the government of Andhra Pradesh to foot the medical bills. Although the court was moved at their plight and the advocates present there ended up donating almost Rs 5000 to the couple, the junior court maintained that it was not within its jurisdiction to give a ruling on this unusual case. It directed the couple to file a petition in either the Chittoor district court, or Hyderabad High Court.
What could have possibly driven the parents to make this unusual petition? After all, no parents would want to court passive mercy killing for their child. Unfortunately, the 8-month-old baby, Gnana Sai was diagnosed with a congenital liver problem by a local doctor. She was treated by him but it did not lead to any apparent improvement in health. The poor couple had already borrowed money from their friends and relatives for the medical expenses so far. However, when they took the toddler to a big corporate hospital in Bangalore, the doctors had informed them that she needed a liver transplant.
“The entire procedure costs more than INR 50 lakh. Moreover, the child has to be on medication for at least six years. The monthly medical bill alone comes to about INR 50,000,” Ramanappa confessed to the local media. The live graft surgery needs to be performed immediately in order to prevent further complication of her medical condition. Rs 50 lakh is a huge sum even otherwise. Add to it the impoverishment of the couple; they had no choice but to file this exceptional petition at the junior court. They were ready to approach the higher courts if necessary, but even the legal expenses would burden their depleting resources.
Andhra Pradesh government comes to rescue:
In a video uploaded on YouTube by Helpline, on 24th June, it has been disclosed that the state government has agreed to play the role of the Good Samaritan.
This is good news for the couple who had to resort to the harshest means of pleading for euthanasia for their daughter in order to relieve her of her pain.
The Logical Indian community applauds the advocates of the junior court for donating from their pockets for this noble cause, the local media for giving coverage to this unique case and the government of Andhra Pradesh for finally giving relief to the parents in the form of offering to foot the medical bills. We hope that the surgery is performed as soon as possible and the child makes speedy recovery.