10 May, 2021

Live Or Die Willingly

It’s the future of end-of-life care but most Indians know little about ‘living will’

Live Or Die Willingly

Rusika Khanna, a 46-year-old chartered accountant in Mumbai, is fighting several battles simultaneously. She has stage-three breast cancer that needed three surgeries in four years. She knows she can’t make it—the cancer is stubborn and she can’t afford the expensive targeted therapy that her oncologist had suggested. She has been dipping into her savings. Her resources are shrinking from her medical bills as well as those of her parents—a father with Alzheimer’s plus mom’s age-related ailments—and household expenses that includes children’s education. And then, she has a messy divorce suit to deal with: an abusive/uncaring husband, who doesn’t support her or their children.

Like most people caught in an apocalyptic pickle, she worries constantly about what’s going to happen. Is she going to be a burden? How are people going to know what she wants when she’s too sick to speak up? If she gets that sick how is she going to get the treatment she wants, or not get the treatment she doesn’t want?...

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