Implant ‘Restores Consciousness’ to Man in Vegetative State


From The Guardian: A 35-year-old man who had been in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for 15 years has shown signs of consciousness after receiving an implant to stimulate the vagus nerve. While this finding offers hope to families of patients in PVS, it also poses ethical questions.

“The findings offer hope to the families of patients in PVS that it may one day be possible to re-establish some basic form of communication. However, some might also question whether such patients would wish to be made more acutely aware of being in a severely injured state.

‘I cannot answer to this question,’ said Sirigu. ‘Personally I think it’s better to be aware, even if it’s a bad state, to be conscious of what’s happening. Then you can have a decision if you want to go on or if you want [euthanasia].'”

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