Thiruvananthapuram/Cochin: Kerala could become the first state in India to allow mercy killing if the government accepts the latest recommendations of the state Law Reforms Commission.
The new regulations permit a terminally ill person to put an end to his life under the supervision and advice of close relatives and doctors.
“Life is something which is worth having, you long to live. If that value is gone, euthanasia is the only remedy. Remove what keeps the man merely existing,” Justice (retd) VK Krishna Iyer, a well know advocate of euthanasia, says.
But the church in Kerala is against these recommendations. Traditionally opposed to euthanasia, the church says any attempt to legalise it will have serious repercussions.
“This is against the teachings and the beliefs of the church. The church considers this as a violation of human rights. The universal declaration of human rights article 3 stresses the dignity of the human life hence church cannot accept the new proposal of the Kerala Law Reform Commission regarding the mercy killing and suicide,” spokesperson Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), Rev Dr Stephen Alathara, said.
And that’s not all. In a bid to abolish polygamy, the Commission has suggested that a man who wants to marry again should first seek his wife's permission, something a few sections of the Muslim community are finding hard to swallow.
With reformists and religious institutions breathing down its neck, the CPM-led LDF government will have its hands full, especially in an election year.