Monday, February 8, 2010

Trace of Thought Is Found in ‘Vegetative’ Patient

On February 4, 2009 the New York Times posted an article written by Benedict Carey concerning the amount of brain activity that goes on in a patients mind that in considered in a vegetative state. The article is based on test that can show brain movement when asked a yes or no question. A 29 year old man, who was in a serious car accident and has been left immobile for the past 5 years, showed brain activity when asked a series of yes and no questions. Doctors aren't ready to use the MRI testing yet because they feel it's not ready yet due to technical problems. With this test, doctors have to start questioning the severity of brain damage and could possible start to ask the patient questions rather then family members who only base questions on what they feel is best for their family member. Even though the MRI testing isn't promised now, there is a promise that the problems will be fixed and the new test will be introduced to all patients.
In 2005 , a woman by the name of Terri Schiavo, was taken off life support because of a previous controversy of a patients rights in a vegetative state. With these test, the patient could make up their own minds what they want to do in life. The simple question of 'do you want to die?' can be answered clearly 'yes or no.' Doctors need to see these answers as sufficient, just because they can't move of talk, they know what they want to do and it should be accepted as if asking a family member. The patients can clearly understand what people are saying, they just can respond. So before asking the patient whether they want to live or not, their state of health should be explained saying, this is what your life is going to be like, we are not sure of how much improvement there can be done to your brain.
With these MRI testing, i believe that a whole new world is going to be opened up. These test can show valid information and should be worked on everyday. I can only imagine how being in a vegetative state feels like, knowing how you feel and want to say but not being able to express yourself. They are people to, they have feelings and I know if I was in the position they were in, that I'd want to make my own decisions too. Every patient should be given this test to see how dead their brain really is so that doctors can move forward for those who has brain activity and who doesn't. Those with it, should start receiving treatment so that they can start to get better and for those who don't, to keep trying now things so that can try and get better.

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