THRISSUR: At a time when various practices in the medical field are being looked through the lens of suspicion, a medical practitioner from Thrissur is in the news for an entirely different reason. Dr Jose Babu, who has been working in the pain and palliative care segment for over nine years, has made his own living will to ensure he lives his final days with dignity. According to him, this is the first time a living will has been registered in the state. Registered on August 1, the will restricts doctors from administering a few life-sustaining treatments to Jose if he is hospitalised with a terminal illness. His years of working in the field of pain and palliative care propelled Jose to prepare the will.
“I came across many instances in which people just waited to die because the doctors put them on ventilator or life support. Such treatment methods only prolong a patient’s death,” he said. The Supreme Court’s verdict in March last year, making living will a constitutionally-valid document that upheld a person’s right to die with dignity, provided Jose with the opportunity to make one for himself. In his will, Jose has placed certain restrictions on some treatment methods and medicines. They include rejecting tube-feeding in case he becomes too sick to take food orally or if he is diagnosed with brain cancer and slips into coma. Any such tubes should be removed after a week if there is no return to life under any circumstances.
He has also prohibited performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him if he suffers from a cardiac arrest while he is bedridden due to age-related ailments, dementia or multiple strokes. He also does not want an organ transplant if any of his organs fail while he is bedridden.