Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trace of Thought Is Found in 'Vegetative' Patient

Jake Bruno
English 122
Prof. Kern
This article concerns non-responsive patients who's brain activity is telling researchers otherwise. A 29 year old man who has been unresponsive for five years after a devastating car accident has now begun to answer yes and no questions. Although he is not able to actually speak, researchers are perform an MRI scan of the brain which shows patients responding with yes or no answers. However, the test has proven to be a success only in a limited number of patients. Even though this could be a huge breakthrough in the medical field, doctors describe the MRI testing to be similar to a "bad cellphone connection." Doctors say the testing is not yet 100% complete, but it shows a lot of hope for the future.
I believe if doctors can successfully work the kinks out of the test it could be one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the decade. I believe this because ‘vegetative’ patients would be able to choose if they wanted to live or die. I think it’s horrible to pull the plug on someone who really has hope and wants to live, and it’s also horrible to keep someone with no drive to live on life support. If this new testing is successful, doctors and family members will no longer make these mistakes. I think this could also help police catch suspects in some cases. Sometimes the only person to see the suspect is the victim, and if they are immobilized and unresponsive, then there is no way to catch the suspect. As far as we know now there are no side effects of this testing, therefore I see only good things in the future.

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