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Euthanasia debate: Panel to probe Aruna’s state
Published on 24 Jan. 2011 11:34 PM IST
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The euthanasia debate is back with the Supreme Court on Monday directing a three-member committee of doctors to look into the physical and mental status of nurse Aruna Shanbaug who has been lying comatose for the past 38 years in Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital. Aruna has been lying comatose following a brutal sexual assault by a hospital ward boy Sohanlal Valmiki in 1973. Lawyer Pinki Virani had filed a petition in the apex court on behalf of Aruna seeking permission to end her life.The court had issued notices to the Centre and the Maharashtra government on Virani’s petition and said that “under the law of the country, we cannot allow a person to die”.
Aruna, now 59, joined KEM Hospital as a nurse in 1966. She was brutally attacked by Valmiki in 1973. As Aruna was menstruating at the time, so Valmiki sodomised her after strangling her with a dog chain, cutting off the oxygen supply to her brain.
The brutal attack had left Aruna blind, paralysed and comatose. Valmiki was convicted for attempt to murder and for robbing Aruna’s earrings, but never tried for rape.

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