September 8, 2006
'I felt trapped inside my body'Topics: Medical Issues, News, The Truth About PVS
BBC News published an article on a 36 year old woman, Kate Bainbridge, who was once diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. Kate now communicates through a computer keyboard.
Scientists have shown for the first time that a person diagnosed as being in a vegetative state can communicate.
For Kate Bainbridge, now 36, the news is especially significant.
In 1997, when Kate was 26, she caught an acute viral infection. It was so serious that it confined her to a vegetative state for six months. While she was in hospital, unresponsive and seemingly unaware of her surroundings, Cambridge neuroscientist Dr Adrian Owen, who went on to make this latest discovery, scanned her brain.
He showed her familiar photographs, and realised from her brain activity that she was aware of the images that had been placed in front of her.
As the months went on, and Dr Owen repeated the experiment, he found that Kate was becoming increasingly aware.
Kates parents stated, "Up until then it had been very difficult for us to cope with the fact that she was in this vegetative state, and although she could do small things like move her finger or twist her neck, we didn't actually know what was going on with Kate. After the scan, the doctors were able to tell us for the first time that Kate's brain was processing things.
"That was a big breakthrough and it meant when we were doing things with her - talking to her, showing her pictures, writing her notes - we felt, even if she didn't understand, her brain was processing things.
Read the entire article at BBC News
Terri Schiavo's parents pleaded with Judge George Greer for years to allow doctors to help Terri as the doctor in Kate's case had done. Terri would still be alive if Judge George Greer would have allowed her parents to care for her, and to allow doctors to help her.
Posted by Mary at September 8, 2006 8:04 AM
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