February 12, 2005


Study Reveals Disabled Patients Like Terri Schiavo Show Awareness (Steven Ertelt, February 8, 2005, LifeNews.com)

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.

Given what they're up to, euthanizers should be slinking around the room quietly anyway.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 12, 2005 6:07 AM
Comments for this post are closed.