Permanent Vegetative State
New research from Cambridge University has confirmed that some patients in a vegetative state are aware of the external world.
Confusion over the significance of “persistent vegetative state” is in the headlines in South Africa, where former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela lies on death’s door in hospital.
US researchers have questioned the results of a landmark study in The Lancet from 2011 on awareness of “vegetative” patients.
The world’s most famous person in a permanent vegetative state is former Israeli Prime-Minister Ariel Sharon. He suffered a massive stroke seven years ago, and has been completely disabled ever since.
A world first -- communicating with a patient in a permanent vegetative state.
The interesting question posed by two Oxford utilitarians, Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu in the Journal of Medical Ethics recently is this: “Is it better to be minimally conscious than vegetative?”
The relatives of a woman who is “minimally conscious” have asked the British court to allow her to die by withdrawing her food and water.