Abdul Rahim, a desperate father from Shillong, has pleaded with the government to permit euthanasia or mercy killing for his three sons who are suffering from Thalassemia, a blood disease.
According to Hindustan Times (HT), 16-year-old Sadik, 14-year-old Suheil and 9-year-old Mohammed Samim have been suffering from Thalassemia, a form of inherited autosomal recessive blood disorder, caused by the weakening and destruction of red blood cells. It occurs due to variant or missing genes which influence the production of haemoglobin in the body, disrupting the normal flow of oxygen through the body.
Thalassemia-affected people tend to produce lesser haemoglobin and fewer amount of the red blood protein than normal. This results in microcytic anaemia which is different from iron deficiency anaemia and could be detected through mentzer index calculation. Thalassemia results in many significant complications, including iron overload, bone deformities and cardiovascular problems.
Rahim said he is drained off all recourses due to the never-ending treatment for his children. He used to run a shoe shop and factory in Shillong, Meghalaya, but had to sell the business for his sons' treatment.
The 51-year-old father seems to have lost the will to fight for his sons' survival after doctors told him he needs to shell out lakhs for life-saving treatment.
"Doctors say they won't live long unless they undergo treatment at Vellore (Christian Medical College), costing ₹35 lakh per child. The alternative is blood transfusion, and I have nothing left to spend ₹45,000 a month for this. I appeal to the judiciary to allow mercy deaths for them so that they are not made to suffer for lack of treatment," he told HT.
The Assam Thallassemia Society used to provide him aid for a brief period, but has stopped now. Rahim who migrated thirty five years ago from Assam to Shillong to set up his shoemaking business, said he had tried all sorts of treatment ranging from Ayurvedic to Tibetan to cure his children.