Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Inside Look at "Persistent Vegetative State"

One wonders what Rom Houben would have to say about Terri Schiavo's execuation by dehydration — 'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear': Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of being unable to tell doctors he was conscious. "The disclosure will also renew the right-to-die debate over whether people in comas are truly unconscious."

"Anyone who bears the stamp of 'unconscious' just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again," said his doctor, "plans to use the case to highlight what he considers may be similar examples around the world." From the article:
    Supporters of euthanasia and assisted suicide argue that people who have lain in persistent vegetative states for years should be given the opportunity to have crucial medical support withdrawn because of the 'indignity' of their condition.

    But there have been several cases in which people judged to be in vegetative states or deep comas have recovered.
    Twenty years ago, Carrie Coons, an 86-year-old from New York, regained consciousness after a year, took small amounts of food by mouth and engaged in conversation.
    Only days before her recovery, a judge had granted her family's request for the removal of the feeding tube which had been keeping her alive.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.