Skip to comments.Vegetative man tells doctors ĎIím not in painí via MRI communication
Posted on 11/14/2012 6:20:31 AM PST by NYer
More than 12 years after a car accident left him in a vegetative state, a Canadian man has begun communicating with doctors who are monitoring his brain activity through Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans.
The BBC reports that 39-year-old Scott Routley has been able to communicate to doctors that he is not in any pain, marking the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-damaged patient has been able to give direct answers regarding their care and treatment.
"Scott has been able to show he has a conscious, thinking mind," British neuroscientist Adrian Owen told the BBC. "We have scanned him several times and his pattern of brain activity shows he is clearly choosing to answer our questions. We believe he knows who and where he is."
Owen leads a team at the Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario, which used MRI scans to measure responses from Routley.
Traditional tests have continued to indicate that Routley is in a vegetative state, with no relevant brain activity. Owen and other doctors say this means medical text books will literally need to be re-written when it comes to evaluating patients suffering from severe brain injuries.
Routley's previous neurologist said that for a decade all test results taken from scans of Routley's brain indicated he was not experiencing any mental activity.
"I was impressed and amazed that he was able to show these cognitive responses, said University Hospital's Bryan Young. "He had the clinical picture of a typical vegetative patient and showed no spontaneous movements that looked meaningful."
Owen says the results could lead to improved patient care for those living with severe brain injuries, making a major improvement in the daily of patients, including routine tasks such as when they prefer to be fed or bathed.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
In China, the State just says “You’re dead to me” and that is good enough.
In all reality doctors know very little about the brain. Medical tests are not reliable either, people showing severe effects of brain damage can have normal looking scans, and people with little effects can have scans that show a lot of damage.
It really is a world of mystery, and yet some doctors are willing to make huge decisions based on something they really don’t know about. It makes it very hard for family to make a decision as to care, though many families don’t know how little is really known about the brain.
There is a lot of research being done right now by the military and doctors working with the military because we have many who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They should ask him if he’s bored.
True, but on the other hand, you might be having a great dream and not have to worry about getting woken up in the middle of it.
Stories like this one vindicate my decision. .
“I assume the doctors know when there is no chance.”
I think that what doctors want people to assume. In reality, they have no more definitive answer than the rest of us as to whether or when people will recover from these traumatic brain injuries. They may have a general sense of the probabilities, but there is no way for them to accurately judge any specific case.
I avoid those arguments. I just tell people that I smoke, drink, and eat high-cholesterol foods. You don’t want my organs!
They didn’t even want any “extreme” measures for Terri only that she be given nutrition and hydration. What abominable people deny that to someone?
Note to anyone wanting to point out my selfishness. Don't bother. I was a donor till I read stories about how much is costs the insurance companies to cover these operations. Someone gets that money why shouldn't my family get some of it?
My problem is I don't have too many bad habits, I don't have any chronic ilnesses and I'm in top shape for my age. The people who take me to task know me too well. (But I should have used it on the libtard bimbo at the DMV. She registered me in as a donor against my wishes (and absent he consent form!). I made her back out my records and re-generate my license, which made her very unhappy.)
Maybe I should start drinking heavily. God knows I'd like to these days.
Well, it is mostly close family that argues with me. There is too much “it’s all good” thinking in my generation. Folks should be a LOT more paranoid.
At the huge per day cost of a critical care unit most insurance is totally gobbled up in 5 days. The hospital and doctors are more concerned about the money than the patient.
Take that, Felos, HINO and Greer!
This process can remove all doubt as to sentience of the “vegetative” one vs’s no personality response at all. It will make it easier to make decisions such as “pull the plug”...though in a lot of cases, folks who have “weathered” the initial storm or needing vent support are often vent weaned to just trach/collar O2 support with suctioning as needed with the patient breathing on his/her own but still in a coma/ semi comatose state. (many times a trach isn’t even needed as some patients have enough autonomic ability to cough and swallow with little air way management needed though they’ll still be Gastric tube fed)
“They accuse me of being heartless “
Just tell them if they mistakenly took your organs “too early”...you certainly would end up being “heartless”!
Why didn’t we think of this sooner! It is sooo simple: Ask qwuestions and have the aptient answer by thinking in various terms, such as a math equation for yes and colors for no. The brain activity changes based on the patients thoughts. Then ask known questions: Is your name Routley? Is your name Mary? Do you know that you are in a hospital? Do you think you are in a zoo? etc.
There must be some discernible boolean state they can read (and he can positively control). They ask him yes or no questions that he and they know the answers to (do birds fly? is the sky green?) to verify the communication. Then they can ask him other questions: “Do you want to continue to live?” “Do you like the massages the night nurse gives?”
The medical community gets it wrong again.
Good thing they decided to try to communicate with him instead of harvesting his organs.
will they be able to vote?