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Even as the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a petition seeking mercy killing for Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug, a nurse of the King Edwards Memorial Hospital in Mumbai who is in coma for the past 38 years after she was raped by a staff sweeper, the hospital asked the court to reject the plea, saying that they alone had the right to decide her future.

“She is one of us, we have taken care of her. In the last 38 years, no one has ever thought of putting her to sleep. This should not be allowed. Let her meet her natural end,” the hospital told the apex court bench of Justice Markendey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra.

The hospital also told the court that such pleas should not be entertained as India was not a matured society and it could have serious consequences.

The court showered praise on the nurses and doctors of the hospital for taking such good care of Aruna that in the last 38 years of her bed-ridden care, she had not suffered even one bed sore.

The court’s observations came in the course of the hearing of the petition by Aruna’s friend Pinki Virani seeking mercy killing for the nurse.

On the evening of Nov 27, 1973, Aruna was attacked by a sweeper in the hospital, who wrapped a dog chain around her neck and sodomized her.

The attack left her with severe brain damage. Aruna is bed-ridden and in coma since then.


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