“Please Let Us Die,” Elderly Couple Asks President for Euthanasia

The couple have no living family. They want to die, and have written to the President for active euthanasia.

2 min read

An elderly couple from Mumbai made a plea to President Ram Nath Kovind for active euthanasia or "assisted suicide", as they feel they are of no use to the society or themselves.

88-year-old Narayan Lavate and his 79-year-old wife Iravati Lavate, who have no children and say their siblings are also no more, are of the view that keeping them alive against their wishes is a "waste of the country's scarce resources as well as theirs.”

I used to a be a teacher. But now I just spend my day at home. Watching TV, reading the paper, talking on the phone. What’s the point? I’d rather just die. No one will come. No one has the time anyway. 
Iravati Lavate, 78

The couple says that they have no purpose in life anymore, and that they want to die.

They say they asked the President to make theirs an exceptional case of "active euthanasia.”

The President has the power to show mercy to those convicted of a crime. We are serving a life imprisonment and the President can show us mercy by allowing us to end our lives. The right to live includes a right to die, according to some philosophies.
Narayan Lavate, 88 

‘We Want Guaranteed Death’

Explaining his unusual plea, Lavate said that if he and his wife, a retired school principal, decided to commit suicide by jumping from a terrace or hanging themselves, there was no guarantee they would die.

In Switzerland, there is an organisation called Dignitas for those who wish to end their lives. Qualified doctors who assist them in the process are not charged for abetment to suicide. We became members of the organisation, but cannot go there since I don’t have a passport.
Narayan Lavate

In his petition dated 21 December 2017, Lavate said he and his wife are in reasonably good health and not suffering from any serious ailments.

He adds that forcing them to wait till they fall seriously ill or are unable to function is cruel.

We will wait till 31 March, and then put an advertisement asking an underworld don to kill us. We’ll pay him Rs 5 lakh each. But that will have other effects, which we want to avoid.
Narayan Lavate

“We want to die peacefully in a government hospital. They’ll give us potassium cyanide. I could buy it myself, but what if it’s adulterated? Then we’ll just suffer, and we may not die,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!