Indian victim dies in Mumbai Hospital after 42 year coma

Indian nurse who had been in vegetative state since 1973 has died

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A Mumbai nurse who had been in a vegetative state since she were raped by a hospital cleaner in 1973 died on Monday, according to a spokesman for Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Aruna Shanbaug, 68, was choked with a dog chain and mugged by a hospital cleaner, at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai,on the eve of her wedding, 42 years ago.

She had been coma since the attack, having sustained brain damage due to strangulation.  

The man who allegedly attempted to murder her wasn't charged with her rape, but was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbery.   

Author Pinki Virani had urged in court for hospital staff to stop feeding her in 2011.   

The court’s rejection of a “mercy killing” petition for Aruna fired up a debate over India’s euthanasia law.

The court objected to active euthanasia, which ends life through the administration of lethal substances, but allowed passive euthanasia, which provides the patient with life support to remain alive in permanently vegetative state.    

After her death, Virani said, “Aruna got justice after all these painful years. She has found release and peace.”

“While going, Aruna gave India the landmark passive euthanasia law,” she added.

TRTWorld and agencies