Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug v. Union of India

4 SCC 454 (2011)

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Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug v. Union of India

India Supreme Court
4 SCC 454 (2011)

Facts

On November 27, 1973, a hospital worker named Aruna Ramachandra Shanbaug was raped, sodomized, and violently assaulted. Shanbaug suffered significant injuries, leaving her without consciousness or higher brain function; only her lower brain stem showed function. After this attack, her coworkers cared for her at their hospital for 34 years. In 2007, Pinki Virani—an Indian citizen unrelated to Shanbaug—filed a petition, asking the court to withdraw care and allow Shanbaug to die. Virani asserted that Shanbaug was in a persistent vegetative state and suffered from brittle bones, low body weight, decayed teeth, and bed sores. The hospital staff and faculty wanted to continue to care for Shanbaug and disputed the facts asserted in the petition. Prior to the hearing before the India Supreme Court, the Supreme Court decided to appoint a panel with three doctors to examine Shanbaug and report on her condition.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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