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Citing Schiavo's Death, Indian Father Asks Permission To Kill Daughters
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 13, 2005

KOLKATA, INDIA--In what is being described in part as a reaction to Terri Schiavo's death in the United States, the father of two adult Indian daughters with disabilities has asked the local government for permission to kill them "to spare them the pain of a long, suffering death."

Indian news services are reporting this week that former bus driver Abdul Rauf, 75, has asked the West Bengal Chief Minister to allow him to end the lives of Fatima, 39, and Rejina, 29, who have severe physical disabilities and need assistance to get out of bed.

Rauf said he is too poor to provide medical care for his daughters, and has started begging in the streets and borrowing from neighbors to support his family. Rauf wrote Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, explaining that his daughters would not survive once he and their mother were no longer able to help them.

"It is a decision no parent can take, but in any case after us our daughters would die," their 64-year-old mother, Anwara Bibi, told Rediff news agency.

Rediff described the story as "a throwback to the Terry Schiavo episode that shook the US on the question of mercy killing."

Buddhadev Bhattacharjee told reporters: "There is no such law in the country. I have heard that the USA is thinking about it."

Terri Schiavo, who experienced brain damage in 1990, died in a Florida hospice on March 31, two weeks after her feeding tube was removed at her husband's insistence. The legal battle between Terri's husband and her parents, who wanted her to continue to receive food and water, gained international attention when members of the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush joined disability rights and right to life advocates on the side of Terri's parents.

The minister has asked local administers in this Communist district to find out why the women have not received a state grant of 500 Rupees ($11.50 US) given to people with physical disabilities.

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