New Delhi, August 12
A 49-year-old woman from Kerala has approached the Delhi High Court to cancel the emigration clearance of her close friend, a 48-year-old man from Noida, who is allegedly planning to travel abroad for Euthanasia (Physician-assisted suicide).
The plea filed through Advocate Subhash Chandran KR contended that the man is diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is a complex, debilitating, long-term neuroinflammatory disease. It is a poorly understood condition and it is in the early stages of research. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness. ME/CFS can affect anyone, including children.
Studies say it is more common in women and tends to develop in the mid-40s. It's also common for people who have chronic fatigue syndrome to also have other health problems at the same time, such as sleep disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, or anxiety. These being the nature of the disease, treatment focus on symptom relief, as per the plea.
In the earlier stage, the man was going through a treatment called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) in AIIMS, which was promising and giving significant improvement. FMT is considered to be safe, promising and effective treatment method for CFS related problems as the results show high success rate. However, he could not continue it in the pandemic situation due to donor availability issues and this affects his confidence and hope. His symptoms started in 2014 and his condition deteriorated over the past eight years. He is now completely bed-bound and just able to take a few steps inside the house.
Finally, he has decided to go for Euthanasia through Dignitas, an organisation in Zurich, Switzerland, which provides physician assisted suicide and he had travelled to Zurich for first round of psychological evaluation in June.
According to the information received by the petitioner, his application was accepted by Dignitas, first evaluation was approved and now awaiting the final decision by end of August, 2022.
Foreign nationals are required to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter any European country in the Schengen Zone. But the respondent man managed to get a Schengen visa which provides free and unrestricted journey within the 26 European countries including Belgium and Switzerland by providing false information. He obtained Schengen visa under the pretext of a namesake treatment in a clinic in Belgium, the plea said.
It is pertinent to mention that there is no financial constrains for providing the man with better treatments within India or abroad. But he is now adamant about his decision to go for Euthanasia, which also affects the life of old-age parents miserably. It is humbly submitted that there still persists ray of hope for the betterment of his condition.
In this context, the petitioner was seeking the court's directions not to grant emigration clearance to Respondent No.3 (man) as he made false claims before Indian as well as foreign authorities for getting travel permissions; and also direct to constitute a medical board to examine the medical condition of him and provide necessary medical assistance by considering his peculiar health condition.
The court will hear the matter next week.
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