Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Comas & Consciousness

The news that a patient who was thought to have been in a vegetative state was in fact fully conscious for quarter of a century is horrifying.

Currently the procedure for allowing people in that state to die is to withdraw feeding, as it is a more passive form of death than simply pumping them full of morphine or suffocating them with an inert gas, even though the latter two methods are clearly more humane. If we have been starving conscious people to death then this is worse than horrifying.


JuliaM said...

"f we have been starving conscious people to death..."

I don't think there's any 'if' about it. Do you?

Ross said...

Well no, if 40% of of people thought to be in that state are actually conscious then it's a near certainty that some of those who have been left to die were actually still aware.

JuliaM said...

Ah, well, we can see what the response is from some experts: 'It's not really him talking!'