Or so it seems, from this research:
Patients left in a “vegetative” state after suffering devastating brain damage are able to understand and communicate, groundbreaking research suggests.
Experts using brain scans have discovered for the first time that the victims, who show no outward signs of awareness, can not only comprehend what people are saying to them but also answer simple questions.
They were able to give yes or no responses to simple biographical questions.
No, the technique those researchers use doesn’t work with every PVS patient. But they claim it did work with some. As the article also notes:
It will raise questions about when doctors should switch off life support machines. It is likely to add to the debate on assisted suicide as the patient could potentially decide and communicate if they wish to carry on living.
I’ll bet. And a good thing, too.by