Imagine yourself for being on a hospital bed in a vegetative state with twisted hands and crooked feet, no vision in eyes and in the name of food you are fed just liquids through your nose. At times you silently cry in agony and when the sufferings swell you scream hysterically for hours but there is no mercy. This agonizing condition continues for not one month or one year or ten years but for a consistent 42 years!
Don’t you think it is far worse than our sins being chastise in hell? Well I think every soul on earth will agree that this kind of life is thousand times worse than the horrors of sin being penalized in hell.
Hence when the unfortunate Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse in Mumbai’s KEM hospital, who lived the above mentioned horrifying life breathed her last in Mumbai, Bollywood film actor cum director Satish Kaushik rightly wrote in his condolence message, "42 Years... My God... Terrible.. Aruna Shanbaug at last got rid of her miseries and pain... May heaven be the happiest place for her... RIP!”
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar too paid a befitting condolence to her. In his tweet he aptly wrote "A 42-yr struggle ends as Aruna Shanbaug leaves for a better life in a better world. RIP.”
For readers who are not aware of the brave heart Aruna Shanbaug, She was a strict and sincere nurse working at KEM hospital in Mumbai. So you may wonder what brought her doom. Well, frankly speaking it was her honesty for which she paid such a heavy price.
According to reports she kept an eye on a hospital ward boy who was corrupt and threatened her many times to expose his misdeeds. In anger the ward boy sexually assaulted her and when she resisted he brutally choked her with a dog-chain. As a result the blood supply to her brain was blocked resulting in brain stem contusion and injury to her cervical cord, which also left her cortically blind.
The incident occurred on the night of 27 November 1973, since then she was bedridden. She was declared brain dead but artificially kept alive by nurses at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital.
An appeal for passive euthanasia (Mercy Killing) was filled by Author Pinki Virani, who wrote a book on Aruna’s life called “Aruna’s Story: The True Account of a Rape and its Aftermath”. She was successful in convincing the Supreme Court that such a futile life can be terminated as per patient’s relatives wish.
In 2011 acting on Virani’s petition, the Supreme Court legalised passive euthanasia in 2011. However the tragedy is that Aruna Shanbaug was denied the benefit because the nurses of KEM Hospital refused to entertain the idea of allowing her such a death!
However the bigger irony of the case is that it was the same staff and administration of the KEM hospital that refused to grant passive euthanasia to Aruna, kept silent when the charges of rape and attempt to murder were leveled on the ward boy, who made Aruna’s life miserable.
Since the KEM Hospital did not come forward the police filed an FIR and fought the case in court. But due to no evidence from KEM hospital the culprit got a jail term of just 6 years!
Today he is freeman and is also working as a ward boy in a hospital in Delhi!!!
Isn’t this the hypocrisy of KEM Hospital???