Persisitent vegetative state maybe not so vegetative after all

I watched Raymond Arroyo talking with Fr. Tad Pacholczyk (director of education for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia) on EWTN‘s The World Over a few days ago. And I was fascinated to learn that very recently researchers have had startling success using functional MRI’s to monitor brain wave activity in patients who have been in what has been called a “persistent vegetative state”, some for years. But researchers found that some of these patients were able to respond to questions with a simple “yes” or “no” as indicated by brain activity. The story was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 3 2010. To say that I was fascinated by this would be an understatement. Why aren’t more people making noise about this? Would this have made a difference in the Terri Schiavo case? I don’t know but it may make a difference in somebody’s case. I’m sure it already has.

Read the Chicago Tribune article or the National Post article.

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