Skip to comments.Study Reveals Disabled Patients Like Terri Schiavo Show Awareness
Posted on 02/09/2005 6:56:53 AM PST by Former Fetus
Disabled people who are treated as if they have no awareness of their surroundings or that they cannot interact with others may be absorbing more than previously thought, according to a new study. The research sheds more like on the plight of people like Terri Schiavo.
A team of neuroscientists in New York, New Jersey and Washington used imaging technology (MRIs) to compare the brain activity of two disabled people in conditions similar to Terri's and the level of activity of health individuals.
As expected, the minimally conscious subjects showed brain activity at less than half the levels of the healthy subjects.
But, the researchers also made audio recordings of loved ones telling cherished stories or recalling shared experiences. In each of the brain-damaged patients while the recordings played, the level of neural activity matched that of the health patients.
"We assumed we would get some minimal response in these patients, but nothing like this," said Dr. Nicholas Schiff, an assistant professor of neurology and neuroscience at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan and the study's lead author.
The findings, if repeated in other experiments, could have a significant impact on how the medical and legal community treat such patients.
Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of the medical ethics division of New York Presbyterian Hospital, told the New York Times, "This study gave me goose bumps, because it shows this possibility of this profound isolation, that these people are there, that they've been there all along, even though we've been treating them as if they're not."
Since the completion of the study, researchers focused on seven additional disabled patients and the results were the same.
Three million to six million Americans live with the consequences of serious brain injuries and as many as 100,000 to 300,000 are like Terri Schiavo -- minimally conscience and in a bedridden state. They are unable to care for themselves, but are still breathing on their own and may interacted in a limited manner.
The results of the study appeared Monday in the medical journal Neurology.
This could be good news if the can get the right people to listen.
Thanks for the ping!
Terri ping to another thread, same topic, other FReepers to converse with.
If anyone would like to be added to or removed from my Terri ping list, please let me know by FReepmail!
Here's links to other threads on this same topic.
another thread started today:
I have always believed this was true. It is good this information is being released at this time.
How CONVEEEEEENIENT. Keep grasping at straws. There are things worse than death, my friends. When you accept we are all going to die, maybe you can show some compassion for those who believe death is a better place than where they are now. I believe that's called religion.
Up to 300,000 people are in situations like Terri's? May the Lord protect them.
thats pretty cold and callous. If the findings are correct maybe more research can be done to help these people so they are not left to wither away
Yes, there are. Being kept alive without receiving therapy is one of them. Being treated as if you aren't human or alive, when you are, is another of them. We should be doing more to help people recover, than to keep them in their disabilities. Being disabled is hard enough. It would royally stink to remain there when it's not necessary.
When you accept we are all going to die, maybe you can show some compassion for those who believe death is a better place than where they are now. I believe that's called religion.
I believe we will die when God says it's time, not some man or some committee. If God wanted Terri, I have no doubt that He could stop her heart from beating this very instant, and her family would know that she died of natural causes and not unnatural ones.
Well said. Thanks for the ping.
That's ridiculous. When man started intervening, we took that decision away from God.
Thanks for the ping.
We were reminded to be careful and sensitive always of what we said around seemingly insensible patients, regardless of setting or situation.
In Terri's case, medical records and photos (including the ones from '91 that were used in the malpractice trials) show that she responds to people, iow, not in a coma, not in PVS.
Don't you see the difference between "intervening" by giving medical treatment, therapy... or "intervening" to purposely cause death? Life is a God-given right and man has no right to "intervene" (Thou shall not kill!) As for whether it is better to be dead than severely disabled, "who has made man's mouth? or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?" Ex. 4:11
BS. He's still God!
You're back!!! Yay! Missed you!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.