The recent death of the Parliamentarian and former Minister of State for External Affairs, E. Ahamed, has created disturbance in the Indian Parliament and in the media for several days. It is sad that he died a horrible death, at the age of 78 – it is reported that he was put on ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenator, an artificial lung that could take over the function of the lungs for several hours) in the middle of the night without the consent of the family that was present but unable to see him. The religious rites could not be performed.
Let us hope that some good will emerge out of all the discussions on the terrible tragedy – that the medical system and the legislators wake up to create sane end of life care protocols and law. And when created, let us also hope that the two will be complementary to each other.
Please watch Extremis, the Oscar-nominated documentary on End of Life Care. (Thank you, Rakesh Menon, for the link).