The Aruna Shanbaug case: SC rejects plea

March 4, 2011

SPAIN/UPDATE: The Supreme Court in its judgement on Monday rejected the euthanasia plea of Aruna Shanbaug, who has been lying in a vegetative state for 37 years following a sexual assault on her.

Euthanasia in various forms is legal in some countries with safeguards, but has been criticised.

There are instances when patients are mistaken to be in a vegetative state though they are conscious of their surroundings but unable to draw attention to their condition. This is described as the Locked-in Syndrome.

But a misdiagnosis cannot be reversed once life support is withdrawn and the patient is no more.

In India, there are also concerns that legalised euthanasia can be misused.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court rejected a plea to stop force-feeding Aruna Shanbaug. But it also said that doctors and nurses could petition to withdraw life support under special circumstances, in a sense allowing “passive euthanasia“.

Do you think the Supreme Court should have allowed Aruna the right to die? Share your views.


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I personally, would want the right to die when I am not able to take care of myself physically and mentally. But the desire to live depends on person from person and the question whether life support should be withdrawn when a person is not able to express his or her consent is very complex one especially in a country like India where chances of it being misused are very high.
I remember an incident where I saw a very old lady being forced to sign some peoperty documents by her relatives just outside registrar’s office, therefore I feel in a country like India this kind of step should be taken very very carefully.

Posted by hanit | Report as abusive

Difficult case… It needs wisdom of a sage… But they are no more found in India

Posted by UrghAllah | Report as abusive

if the SC cannot grant what the victim wants,due to various reasons it can order some govt help..

Posted by maruti3450 | Report as abusive