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DHARWAD, India: The recent demise of Vishwaaradhya Siddalingaiah Hiremath (77) who is said to have died of his own accord here, has triggered a debate as to whether self- willed-death could be considered as another form of euthanasia in order to circumvent legal hassles or a glorification of natural death.

According to Hiremath’s family sources, Hiremath was said to have prescribed a certain timing for his death including the date and had also made arrangements for his cremation at his native village Byahatti. Besides, he insisted that his near and dear ones not grieve before and after his departure.

Refusing to call the doctor on Sunday morning as he developed stomach-ache, he calmly went to bed to breathe his last, after his brother poured a handful of water into his mouth.

Hiremath’s grandfather Rachaiah Hiremath too is said to have died in a similar self willed manner sixty years ago.

Hiremath’s family had traditionally been entrusted to supervise the routines in Srimadh Kashi Gnana Simhasana Jangamawadimath in the village, which has a history of 800 years. This legacy might have influenced Hiremath to decide upon a self willed-death.

According to Shivashankar Pol , a psychiatrist, the phenomenon of willed-death was a co-incidence.

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