NEW DELHI, March 7 (UPI) -- India's Supreme Court Monday declined a plea to end the life of a woman in a "vegetative state" for 37 years after a sexual assault.
The plea by activist Pinki Virani sought to stop the feeding of Aruna Shanbaug, a former nurse at Mumbai's KEM Hospital and a victim of a sexual attack by a hospital janitor.
The petition said the victim can no longer see or speak properly and keeping her alive in this "persistent vegetative state" violates her right to life with dignity, The Times of India reported.
The case of Shanbaug, 60, has become a huge controversy with opinions widely divided.
In rejecting the plea, the court said while there was no law in India for euthanasia, medical and other evidence had showed Shanbaug need not be subjected to euthanasia.
The woman was assaulted in 1973 by a hospital janitor who wrapped a chain around her neck while she was changing clothes and pulled her with it.
Virani's petition said the strangulation attempt stopped the supply of oxygen to the woman, damaging her cortex.