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Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug, in coma for 42 years after being raped by a hospital sweeper, dies

Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug, in coma for 42 years after being raped by a hospital sweeper, dies

Mumbai: Former King Edward Memorial Hospital nurse and rape survivor Aruna Shanbaug died on Monday morning. She was in coma for 42 years after she was brutally assaulted and raped by a hospital sweeper.

The 66-year-old was put on ventilator after she suffered a serious bout of pneumonia last week.

Aruna was in the medical ICU of the hospital located in Parel area of Mumbai.

Aruna was rushed out of the tiny room attached to ward number 4 that had been her home for four decades on Tuesday, after nurses attending to her saw she had difficulty in breathing. She was taken to the medical ICU and started on antibiotics.

KEM Hospital Dean Dr Avinash Supe said she was recently diagnosed with a pneumatic patch and put on ventilator support. Aruna was diagnosed with the lung infection after a series of diagnostic tests. She was fed through tubes.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had rejected a petition to allow mercy killing of Aruna. The court had, however, held that passive euthanasia is permissible under supervision of law in exceptional circumstances but active euthanasia is not permitted under the law.

Aruna was working as a nurse at Mumbai's KEM Hospital when on the night of November 27, 1973, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, a ward boy at the hospital, attacked and sodomised her in the hospital basement.

The attack left her cortically blind, that means she could see, but her brain did not register the sight. The convicted ward boy was let off after seven years of imprisonment.

first published:May 18, 2015, 10:37 IST