Tuesday, November 13, AD 2012
Here is some new research for a court to consider prior to sentencing another person in a vegetative state to death by dehydration , as was done to Terri Schiavo:
A Canadian man presumed to be in a permanent vegetative state for more than a decade is “talking” to researchers and answering their questions.
Severely brain injured in a traffic crash 12 years ago, Scott Routley’s condition had been officially classified “vegetative state,” unable to communicate with the outside world.
His family has always believed differently.
Now, high-tech brain imaging appears to have proven them right.
With the help of functional MRI, Routley has been able to answer “No” to the question, “Are you in pain?”
The finding, first reported Tuesday by the BBC, could have profound implications for helping those locked in a vegetative state.
“Brain imaging techniques are helping us to understand more about what some of these patients can and can’t do, particularly things they can do that might not be apparent from standard clinical examination,” said Adrian Owen of the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Brain and Mind. The British neuroscientist moved to Canada last year from the University of Cambridge.
“His official clinical condition has been that he was in a vegetative state. But his family have always maintained that there is more going on with Scott — that he is aware of many things going on around him, and even that he was able to communicate,” Owen said in an interview with Postmedia News.