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anomolous neuro-cortical response

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 24, 2005

A Melbourne nurse once told me that she'd worked in a ward for PVS patients. One person she cared for was a 25-year-old man with massive brain injury caused by a motorbike accident, "shelved" in the PVS ward to await death. Though the medical staff forbade the nurses to speak to the comatose patients (on the grounds that it might give relatives false hope), this gal disobeyed, chatting with the totally unresponsive man as she cleaned him and changed his bedding, even reading him the (Aussie rules) footy scores from the paper. Transferred to work on another floor, she was stunned one afternoon eight months later when this same man, whom she'd assumed had died as predicted, walked onto the floor to greet her. "I was so tired of your always whinging about Collingwood," he said, handing her a football scarf in her team's colors. He told her that he could always tell when she was working around his bed by the smell of her perfume.

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  • Posted by: Cantor Rich - Mar. 24, 2005 11:56 PM ET USA

    There is much that we do not know about how the brain functions; to automatically make decisions based on yesterday's technology is dangerous. Stories of those once considered brain-dead or in PVS regaining conciousness are numerous enough thata neurologist should hesitate to withdraw sustenance. In some cases, the brain takes years to recover, apparently. One should not try to play God with another's innocent life.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 24, 2005 10:50 PM ET USA

    I just visited with someone who is, according to the euthanasiast neurologists, PVS, tonight; Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Small wonder that Terry Schiavo was barred from having Communion with him in her time of trial.

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