Vegetative state patients can respond to questions

Vegetative state patients can respond to questions

Scientists have been able to reach into the mind of a brain-damaged man and communicate with his thoughts.

The research, carried out at in the UK and in Belgium, involved a new brain scanning method.

Awareness was detected in three other patients previously diagnosed as being in a vegetative state.

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that scans can detect signs of awareness in patients thought to be closed off from the world.
She said the hospital did a study of 60 patients admitted with a diagnosis of vegetative state and 43% could communicate.

I really hate the term 'vegetative state'. People, whatever their state of consciousness, are never vegetables. To so label them reduces them to sub-human status. This makes it easier for people to 'pull the plug' and not have their consciences' troubled. After all they are only killing a vegetable, the person is no longer a human being, at least in their minds.

You beat me to it!

I just saw this story on the TV news and looked up a link to start a thread.
I whole-heartedly agree with you.
'Vegetative State' -- Yeah, let's adopt 'mercy killing' for humans. Sure. After all we're nothing but another species, right?


The Reginator I have to say first that your quote is very thought provoving and enjoyable. I was going to say humorous but I’m not sure that’s appropriate considering the subject matter. But it did make me smile.

As for vegetative state trials, I’m so happy theve found that these people really are in there now that their realized the persons still alive when are people going to start fighting to save lives???

I don’t have an issue with “Vegetative state” wording, but I am really enjoying the new possible outcome of these results. This can lead more dignity and a better quality of life to those in this state. Sounds like a win win.

Although its very frightening, imagine just laying there for years fully conscience.

I just found this piece and I thought I'd share it here even before I've finished reading the original article sited.

The Schindlers Were Right to Insist on Tests for Terri

*“This should change the way we think about these patients,” said Nicholas D. Schiff, an associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. “I think it’s going to have very broad implications.”*

But it won’t. The bioethics mainstream has rejected the equality/sanctity of humanlife for the so-called quality of life ethic. It began with the odios advocacy of Joseph Fletcher in the Hasting’s Center Report back in 1972, claiming that the inability to communicate meant that one had lost humanhood (now called personhood). Thus today, not only unconscious but conscious patients are dehydrated to death in all fifty states and it is shrugged off as medical ethics.


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