A woman from Navi Mumbai has approached the Bombay High Court seeking to be appointed as the guardian of her 63-year-old husband, who is comatose, and to be permitted to access his bank accounts.
The woman, in her petition filed earlier this week, sought to be appointed as her husband’s guardian — in the absence of specific legal provisions to deal with the rights of such patients — so that she can use his account to fund his medical care.
The high court on Wednesday directed the sub-divisional magistrate of Thane collectorate to submit a report on the health of the man, who is a retired general manager of a public sector undertaking (PSU). A division bench headed by Justice S M Kemkar was hearing the woman’s petition claiming that her husband has been comatose for over a month now.
The woman, in her petition, submitted reports of neurologists from Apollo Hospital in Navi Mumbai certifying that her husband was suffering from ‘malignant MCA territory infarction of the brain’ and was “in a persistent vegetative state”.
The bench directed the sub-divisional magistrate from Thane collectorate to visit the couple’s house at Nerul in Navi Mumbai and prepare a report on the man’s health condition by Friday, when the petition would be heard. The court also directed the petitioner to submit affidavits of the couple’s two daughters giving no objection to their mother being allowed to operate their father’s bank accounts.
The woman’s husband, who had retired from an oil PSU as a general manager, had suffered a paralytic stroke and was admitted to Apollo Hospital on August 30. He has been “unconscious and in a comatose condition as an indoor patient” on the ventilator life support since his admission, said the petition.
But with his vital and physical parameters stable, the hospital discharged him after 28 days with an advice that he be kept under 24-hour care of a trained paramedic. The PSU helped with the medical expenses. However, to repay some of the money that the woman had borrowed and for his continued care, which is expected to cost Rs 1 lakh a month, she needs to withdraw from his savings and bank accounts, the petitioner said.