World’s oldest comatose patient Aruna Shanbaug dead

Mumbai, Nurse Aruna Shanbaug, the former nurse at KEM Hospital here who was brutally sexually assaulted by a ward boy at the facility 42 years ago and had been lying in a vegetative state ever since, passed away today.
The 66-year-old was battling a serious bout of pneumonia and was on ventilator support, King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital sources said. She was in the medical ICU of the hospital located in Parel area of Mumbai.
Shanbaug 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. Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse in King Edward Medical College, was brutally raped by a sweeper in the hospital in 1973 and since then has been in a permanent vegetative state, with her every need looked after by the hospital nurses.
In March 2011, the Supreme Court had rejected a petition filed by former journalist and author Pinki Virani, who had sought mercy killing (euthanasia) for Aruna Shanbaug, which the KEM hospital’s management and nursing staff had opposed.
Virani had narrated the story of the ailing nurse in her 1998 non-fiction book called ‘Aruna’s Story’, while Duttakumar Desai wrote the Marathi play, ‘Katha Arunachi’ in 1994-95, which was staged under director Vinay Apte in 2002. (Source-
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