Aruna Shanbaug died after 42 years in a coma in Mumbay

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Her case, based on the argument that she was “virtually a dead person” and should be allowed to die, was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2011. Ms Shanbaug’s parents died many years ago and other relatives had not maintained contact with her in the hospital. Shanbaug’s attacker, Sohanlal Bharta Walmiki, was not even charged for raping her since sodomy was not considered rape under Indian laws at the time. He was freed after serving a seven-year-sentence for robbery and attempted murder. A global discussion about the right to die with dignity was reopened now by Aruna’s case. Euthanasia remains controversial. One argument is the expectation that some time, at some point, science may discover something that could be of help for people in extreme critical condition.

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