No time to provide palliative care; we are busy discussing euthanasia.

2014 November 13
Comments Off on No time to provide palliative care; we are busy discussing euthanasia.

A report in the Times of India dated November 5, 2014 states that “shame and pain caused by an ailment was the reason for one in every five suicides in India last year.”

The report continues, “… data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau show that 26,426 people in the country suffering from various ailments, including cancer, AIDS and paralysis, chose to end their lives in 2013. Tamil Nadu had the highest number of suicides linked to illness in 2013, with 4,362 people taking the extreme step.”

In palliative care units, it not uncommon to find patients requesting euthanasia. When you look for the reason behind the question, most of the time it is, “I cannot bear this pain” (or other suffering). Once that problem is tackled, most of them get back to the business of living and the wish to die ends. If we are able to bring a little relief to those who are suffering, and if we are able to help them find meaning to their lives during their last days, many of them would not be driven to such an extreme step.

But we are busy discussing the merits and demerits of mercy-killing without trying to offer them a little relief from their suffering!

Read the report in the Times of India.

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