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Families of coma patients satisfied

For the last five years, Dinesh Singh, 54, has spent every possible spare time by his son, Amit’s bedside at Jaslok Hospital. Amit, 24, slipped into a coma after a bomb exploded in the first class train compartment he was traveling in on July 11, 2006.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2011 11:56 PM IST

For the last five years, Dinesh Singh, 54, has spent every possible spare time by his son, Amit’s bedside at Jaslok Hospital. Amit, 24, slipped into a coma after a bomb exploded in the first class train compartment he was traveling in on July 11, 2006.

On Monday, Singh heaved a sigh of satisfaction when he heard of the Supreme Court’s decision to reject a mercy killing plea made on behalf of Aruna Shanbaug, a KEM Hospital nurse who has been lying in a vegetative state for the last 37 year after being sodomised and assaulted by a ward boy.

Singh did not fully agree with the court’s ruling that passive euthanasia could be permitted in exceptional cases. “Who has the right to kill someone when life is a gift of God. Aruna will die a natural death and I respect the verdict given by the SC,” said Singh. “My child will die when his time will come. I can never support mercy killing...” said Singh, a railway employee.

The Shanbaug case bears relevance for the Sawant family too. They recounted the helplessness they felt as they watched their son, Parag, lie motionless on a hospital bed for almost 18 months after he suffered a brain injury and slipped into coma after the July 11, 2006 train blasts. “...The verdict is justifiable and Aruna should die a natural death,” said Parag’s 52-year-old mother, Madhuri.

After three brain surgeries, Parag, 31, though bed-ridden, is now conscious, can sometimes move his hand and communicates in slightly garbled speech.

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