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Euthanasia – Aruna’s Story

March 7, 2011

Supreme Court rejected the petition for mercy killing of Aruna Shanbaug. Aruna Shanbaug was brutally sexually assaulted in Mumbai’s KEM Hospital 37 years ago, which left her in a vegetative state. I do not know Aruna Shanbaug other than what I have read in the papers. I am not related to her, nor have contributed to her care in any way for the last 37 years. Yet I feel strongly about writing this piece. The arguments are that there is no guarantee that there is no cure for her (just as there is no guarantee that there is one). Our constitution does not allow for mercy killing, and no one from her family has petitioned for her mercy killing.

For a minute, let’s hope against hope and assume that she does come out of her vegetative state by some miracle after 37 years. And what will her state of mind be when she recovers? That the person who put her in this state for 37 long years has gotten away with a pittance of a punishment? Would she even want to live that life? Would any court be able to provide her a life of dignity after the miracle that wakes her up?

The people taking care of Aruna for last 37 years are just doing an absolutely commendable job. They are caring for her and the passion they have to keep her alive is fantastic. Even blood relatives may give up on a person in a vegetative state for 37 years. So hats off to all the people taking care of. I just wish we would let her go and not let her continue to suffer her fate of complete helplessness. Even a person missing for more than 7 years is declared dead.



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