A nurse who had been in a vegetative state for the last 42 years after being raped, died in a Mumbai hospital. Her case sparked a debate about euthanasia laws in India.
Aruna Shanbaug died on Monday after contracting pneumonia, according to a spokesman for Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital.
The brain-damaged 66-year-old nurse had been in a coma for 42 years after being raped by a hospital cleaner in 1973. Her coma was among the world's longest.
Her attacker served 7 years in prison for robbery and assault. He died several years ago.
Her case triggered a debate about euthanasia in India. In 2011, India's supreme court rejected a petition by a journalist, Pinki Virani, for a mercy killing, saying medical evidence suggested that she should live. Her petition was also objected to by the nurses who looked after Shanbaug.
It was considered a landmark ruling as the court has since allowed passive euthanasia in some cases. Previously, euthanasia was illegal in India.
Active euthanasia describes actions that put an end to a person's life, for example, by administering a lethal injection. Passive euthanasia involves withdrawing life-support systems from a patient.
ng/kms (dpa, AP)