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Sunday, September 10, 2006


I'm trying to contain myself. I have tried to draft a post twice, discussing advanced healthcare directives and the controversy concerning the Terri Schiavo case -- as well as regarding a recent news story posted on Neil Hendershot's blog here.

I have tried to draft a post twice, and I have also lost the lion's share of the post exactly twice (wasting about an hour) -- it has disappeared into the Blogger "ether" twice.

Damn Blogger. I'm done. When I cool down, perhaps I'll try it again.

In the meantime, the observations as posted on Neil's blog are not necessarily unusual. Here is another story evidencing that at least some diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegatative State (PVS) may have a conscious existence.

The story is from the Washington Post; here is the most important excerpt:

According to all the tests, the young woman was deep in a "vegetative state" -- completely unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings. But then a team of scientists decided to do an unprecedented experiment, employing sophisticated technology to try to peer behind the veil of her brain injury for any signs of conscious awareness.

Without any hint that she might have a sense of what was happening, the researchers put the woman in a scanner that detects brain activity and told her that in a few minutes they would say the word "tennis," signaling her to imagine she was serving, volleying and chasing down balls. When they did, the neurologists were shocked to see her brain "light up" exactly as an uninjured person's would. It happened again and again. And the doctors got the same result when they repeatedly cued her to picture herself wandering, room to room, through her own home.

More on this later, when I cool down...

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