Communicating with patients in a vegetative state

The Current

It is an extraordinary moment when Dr. Adrian Owen slides his patient into an FMRI machine, a man who has been in a vegetative state for a dozen years, suddenly able to communicate basic information with thoughts that register as activity in a brain scan. Adrian Owen has found a way to connect with some patients for whom that had been little hope of ever communicating again. Today, our project Line in the Sand looks at the implications of his discovery for everything from our treatment of traditionally unresponsive patients to end of life care.

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