Narayan Lavate (88) and Iravati Lavate (78) are hopeful that the President of India will respond to their plea seeking permission for active euthanasia. (Express Photo)
An elderly couple from Mumbai has written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his approval for active euthanasia or assisted suicide. Narayan Lavate, 88, and Iravati Lavate, 78, live in a chawl at Grant Road in Mumbai. According to a report in The Indian Express, the couple is satisfied with the life they have lived and do not wish to live any more.
The report also says that they also seek death as they fear one of them dying and the other having to live without them. They also say that they have lived a satisfactory life and do not want to wait for ailments and pay regular visits to hospitals.
It was Narayan who thought of active suicide when he heard the case of KEM nurse Aruna Shanbaug. Soon after, he began his research for laws pertaining to active euthanasia. The two also became members of Switzerland-based Dignitas, a society that supports physician-assisted deaths as per legal provisions. However, Narayan failed to get his passport renewed even as Iravati got it.
Iravati, who retired in 1997 as the principal of a school run by the Aryan Educational Society, said: “I am old and cannot even walk easily due to metro rail work here. My pension is enough to sustain us. But why wait till an illness affects us?”
The two say that while there is Right to life, citizens of the country must also have right to death. The couple has also sent a draft of Bill on euthanasia to NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule, former law minister Ram Jethmalani and other political leaders.
After finding no effective solution, they wrote to the President of India on December 21 and are hopeful that President Kovind will respond positively.
When the Lavates discussed the idea of euthanasia with their distant relatives, they oppose it. “They have children and responsibilities. But we have none, no liabilities,” Narayan said.