May 30, 2015
Rape Victim Dies After 42 Years in Vegetative State
Aruna Shanbaug: Mumbai rape victim in a coma for 42 years has died
A Mumbai nurse who was in a coma for 42 years after being sexually assaulted while working in a hospital has died, hospital authorities said Monday.
Aruna Shanbaug suffered severe brain damage and was in a vegetative state after she was raped and strangled by a hospital worker in 1973.
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India's Supreme Court rejected the petition filed by Pinki Virani who had sought euthanasia for Shanbaug, saying the court should 'end her unbearable agony.'
The case was opposed by nurses at the hospital who took turns taking care of her for more than four decades after Shanbaug's family said they were unable to support her.
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Aruna, a native of Haldipur in Karnataka, had joined KEM Hospital as a junior nurse in the seventies.
On the night of November 27, 1973, sweeper Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki attacked her when she had to gone to change in the vacant canine experiment room of the hospital.
To overpower Aruna, Walmiki used a dog chain to choke and sexually assault her. The choking permanently damaged her brain cells, leaving her in vegetative state and partially blind.
Culprit Walmiki was booked for robbery and attempt to murder, as the doctors then did not think it appropriate to include sexual assault charges to save Aruna from facing social stigma.
Walmiki was convicted, and after serving his sentence, he is said to have moved to Delhi.
Indian nurse who was in a coma for 42 YEARS after brutal hospital rape that left her in permanent vegetative state has died
Aruna Shanbaug was raped and strangled by a hospital worker in 1973
Shanbaug had been suffering from pneumonia and was on life support
Her case sparked a national debate over India's euthanasia laws
By TED THORNHILL FOR MAILONLINE and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 02:40 EST, 18 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:34 EST, 18 May 2015