Brain Scan Shows Vegetative Patient Responding To Yes-or-No Questions

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by abijnk, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I debated about whether to put this in the PRSI or Current Events forum, but I think it will end up here anyways, so here it is.

    PopSci Link

    [​IMG]

    This type of thing has always fascinated me.
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  3. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #3
    Those patients had simply been misdiagnosed. The very definition of vegetative state precludes any brain activity, so these patients were in a coma.

    In other words: no news here.
     
  4. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    They were just discussing this on the radio while I was on my way back from picking up lunch. The expert was injecting a bit of reality, in that the patients that exhibited some response were not those with any sort of traumatic brain injury, such as from a gunshot or stroke or oxygen deprivation, to say nothing of a Terry Schaivo, who literally had no cortex left. It was more like deceleration injuries in car crashes where the victim just didn't regain consciousness after having his brain shaken up.

    And it still was not clear whether the patients were answering consciously or whether this was an involuntary response that happens to trigger the factual knowledge stored in the brain. It's not clear whether the patients could offer an opinion, solve a problem, or lie about factual knowledge they wouldn't want known.

    The expert expressed concern that the (entirely typical) breathless pop-sci exposition of the research might tend to give a lot of people false hope about their more severely injured loved ones.
     
  5. abijnk thread starter macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    That's what jumped out at me about this article. People, especially in these situations, tend to only hear what they want to hear.
     

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