The tragic story of a nurse who was raped so violently 42 years ago that she was left in a coma from which she never recovered ended with her death today.
In 1973 Anura Shanbaug was raped and strangled by a hospital worker in her native Mumbai, leaving her with severe brain damage.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia last week, leading doctors to make the decision to take her off her life support machine.
Author and friend Pinki Virani had petitioned to have her euthanized, asking India’s Supreme Court to end Ms Shanbaug’s ‘unbearable agony’.
The supreme court rejected her petition, which was opposed by the nurses at Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital who had been caring for Ms Shanbaug for decades as her family were unable to do so.
Virani told the BBC: ‘My broken, battered baby bird finally flew away. And she gave India a passive euthanasia law before doing so.’
While her story may provoke further debate on euthanasia in India, it is the incident that left her in the vegetative state which is truly shocking.
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