Pune doctor suffering from cancer pleads for euthanasia
A Medical Officer at a primary health centre in Maharashtra, Dr. Bharat Maruthi Lote in the state health department, who has been battling pancreatic cancer, released a video last week, requesting for mercy killing which is not legal in India yet. A bill for passive euthanasia- “The Medical Treatment of Terminally-Ill Patients (Protection of Patients and Medical Practitioners) Bill, 2016, was introduced by the ministry of health to address aspects of passive euthanasia, advance directives, or medical power of attorney”. Dr Lote has been battling pancreatic cancer pleaded for mercy killing in a video posted by him.
Dr Lote worked as a medical officer at a primary health centre in Rampur village for last 26 years. He belongs to Chiplun taluk, Ratnagiri and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March. His family promptly started all initial treatment at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune itself, but the “prognosis was terrible”. The doctor said the chances of recovery were slim, but his wife never gave up, and faced every situation by hoping for the best outcome," says Sangita, his wife. Dr Lote has undergone three surgeries since April, racking up medical bills of R29 lakh. He managed to withdraw R3 lakh from his provident fund and Sangita raised another R11 lakh by mortgaging their house and jewellery as well as by borrowing R10 lakh from friends. Sangita has been requesting the state health department to release his salary in advance, but there has been no response, she alleges. "For the last two-and-a-half months, my husband has been in the intensive care unit. He was also put on the ventilator at one time," she says. "I visit the health department office twice a week in the hope of convincing them to release his salary in advance, which is a norm in the department."
Dr Lote has sought, what he sees as an end to the troubles when lenders keep on poking, for their money. In a video released by Dr lote’s wife Sangeeta Lote on June 8, the doctor urged for euthanasia. He highlights his family’s weak financial status and the health department’s alleged apathy."The government is not helping us out. He devoted his whole life to serving the poor in a small village. He was even awarded two state honours:
"The government is not helping us out. He devoted his whole life to serving the poor in a small village. He was even awarded two state honours -- the Na Dho Karve Award and the Ahilya Joshi Award. This is how we are being repaid," Sangita said adding that the family approached a lawyer so that a petition on euthanasia could be filed and submitted to the Bombay High Court. "We hold the health department responsible for pushing us to take this decision,", his wife said.
The family has approached a lawyer to finalise a petition on euthanasia to be submitted before the Bombay High Court. "We hold the health department responsible for pushing us to take this decision," Sangeeta says.