Monday, November 23, 2009

Persistent Vegetative State???

The Daily Mail in the UK carries Rom Houben's story today. Several neurological experts declared Houben to be in a "persistent vegetative state" for 23 years, but he was conscious the entire time, merely paralyzed after an automobile wreck and unable to communicate.

As medical science advances, evidence of poor diagnoses when people are comatose will continue to mount up. Hopefully, it will also stop the growing move toward euthanasia for such patients.

As a patient who has twice awakened during surgery, I can attest to the fact that it is possible to hear and understand every word spoken, but remain unable to talk. I can hardly imagine the pain of going through that for 23 years.

But even worse, consider the consequences if a "death panel" in faraway Washington, were deciding whether or not to keep patients like Ron alive.

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