Dr. Niruj Agarwal presented the work of the Swiss Foundation Dignitas that enables assisted suicide. He pointed out that large numbers of people from around the world had approached the facility for help. He pointed out that laws for euthanasia varied across the globe with countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands being liberal in their approach and others considering it illegal. He pointed out that in the USA, different states took different approaches with 5 states having liberalised the laws for euthanasia. Discussing the Indian scenario, Chetan Shah documentary film maker who has made a film on Aruna Shanbagh the Mumbai nurse, who was the subject of a public interest litigation seeking the end of her life on compassionate grounds, as she had been in a persistent vegetative state for years, pointed out that the legislation in India enabled action on a case by case basis, when the circumstances were clear, but in each case the courts had to be involved.
Discussing the end of life and terminal illness Dr. Ennapadam S. Krishnamoorthy Pointed out that there was a need to understand the concept of mental capacity bot make decisions as enshrined in the Mental Health Act, and that autonomy in decision making was the key driver for people to document their directives on what they would like done and what they would not like done. There were both philosophical and pragmatic reasons why each individual may wish to be the determinant of his or her own end of life care.
The concept of living wills, the different scenarios in which end of life care is contemplated, the need for a multidisciplinary approach and the TRIMED- Neurokrish model of holistic end of life care we’re discussed. Dr. VG Srivatsa of TRIMED presented a video of an elderly man with dementia whose family describe his journey to the end of life and the role of Trimed care and rehabilitation in keeping him and his caregivers comfortable. Vivek Misra of Neurokrish reviewed the Mental Health Care bill 216 for the audience. A lively discussion involving physicians, psychologists and media professionals took place.
Dr. Ennapadam S. Krishnamoorthy
MBBS, MD, DCN (Lond), PhD (Lond), FRCP (Lond, Edin, Glas), MAMS (India)
Neurokrish Consulting I Neurosciences India Group
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