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Friday, April 18, 2014

New Study: 1/3 of Vegetative Patients may be Conscious

Something to keep in mind as health officials rush you to sign away a loved ones life...

From The Washington Free Beacon:

A new study published in the Lancet shows that as many as one-third of vegetative patients are misdiagnosed. 
Researchers used brain-imaging techniques and found minimal consciousness in 13 of 42 patients it studied. 
The study revealed that those patients with minimal consciousness have emotions and may feel pain. 
This could have major legal and medical consequences, Maclean’s reports.

After finding that 13 of 42 vegetative patients showed brain activity indicating minimal consciousness, they re-examined them a year later. By then, nine of the 13 had improved, and progressed into a minimally conscious state or higher. 
[...] Kate Bainbridge, who was one of the first vegetative patients examined by Owen, was given a scan that showed her brain lighting up in response to images of her family. Her health later improved. “I can’t say how lucky I was to have the scan,” she said in an email to Maclean’s last year. “[It] really scares me to think what would have happened if I hadn’t had it.”

Scary indeed.

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