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UP: 21-year-old cancer patient seeks right to die

CNN-IBN
Oct 04, 2011 at 02:55pm IST

New Delhi: The issue of euthanasia or the right to die is back in focus in Kanpur with a local court issuing notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre asking for monetary help for a cancer patient.

A civil suit was filed by Alka Tiwari, a 21-year-old cancer patient, asking the government to either fund her treatment or else allow euthanasia.

Alka's brother says he spoke to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on the phone, but so far there's been no sign of any help.

Noted activist and lawyer Flavia Agnes said that the local court has framed the issue very rightly. She also added that if the government does not to anything to help Alka, then the burden of guilt will be on them.

"To say that nobody should die and people should continue to suffer is inhuman so I feel the court has framed the issue very rightly. Here's a girl who needs expensive treatment to live. So who's burden is it to fund her treatment? So, that's the main issue and according to me euthanasia not upto the government to decide. What choices does the girl have? To die or ask state for funds? And if government does not come to her rescue, she will die anyway. Then I feel the burden of guilt is on the state."

Alka is a slum dweller and requires a bone-marrow transplant that costs Rs 15 to 20 lakh.

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