Sick boy dies amid euthanasia appeal

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A 10-year-old boy who suffered from complications from a head injury died here Tuesday despite his mother asking for euthanasia for the child as she ran out of money for his treatment.

Harsha Vardhan, son of Aruna (30), a day bet from the village of Birjepalle in Chowdepalle Mandal, had suffered a serious fall four years ago that resulted in the boy suffering from frequent nosebleeds and other ailments. His mother, who raised him alone since his father left the family last year, struggled to make ends meet.

Over the past year, the boy’s symptoms had become more pronounced and frequent.

With no solution in sight to her son’s predicament, Ms. Aruna decided to ask the court to euthanize Harsha Vardhan. On Tuesday morning, the woman and the boy arrived at the junior civil judge court in Punganur, 15 km from their village, to apply for euthanasia.

However, as there was hardly any staff at the court, the woman decided to return home. At this point, Harsha Vardhan was showing signs of fainting, along with profuse bleeding from her nostrils. Before he could be taken to a hospital, Harsha Vardhan took his last breath.

His last rites were later performed in the village. People stayed away from the funeral because of COVID fears.

Gurunatha, the mother’s older brother, said the family had tried their best to provide medical help to the boy, but to no avail.

I. Karuna Kumar, Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), said when she contacted me that some frustrated and impoverished parents, lacking knowledge of euthanasia, came forward to request mercy killing for their children.

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