April 22, 2005
Persistent vegetative state: diagnosis with an agendaTopics: Medical Issues
A person diagnosed in a wakeful coma (so-called 'persistent vegetative stated or PVS) still has a functioning brain stem, which controls the mechanisms of breathing, digestion, and reflexes, so they are not brain dead. They have partial brain function.
So, if PVS is such a poor term to describe the medical condition of a wakeful coma, why is it a diagnostic term in the first place?
PVS is a very useful term if you are an advocate of euthanasia. If you believe that killing people who (in your opinion) don't have much "quality of life," whom you see as "trapped in their bodies" at the door to eternity, and who (in your judgment) are better off "released" from a life confined to bed, then the term persistent vegetative state works very well indeed.
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Posted by tim at April 22, 2005 2:06 AM
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