This article was forwarded to me in response to the post on researchers at Cambridge University who have shown scientific evidence that those in unconscious states are in fact aware of their surroundings. I much prefer the term “unconscious state”- the vegetable reference is a terribly inhumane way of referring to these people who are obviously nothing like vegetables.
Incidentally, the anecdotal evidence of those who come out of these unconscious states is plentiful and incredible, as the article describes.
Wesley Smith, an expert in end of life issues, makes the point, that was waiting to be made in my previous post, that we actually have begun to starve and dehydrate these people to death. The most famous case being the Terry Schiavo fiasco that ended in her starvation death which took place over an agonizing 14 days. He writes:
We dehydrate helpless people to death in this country because they have a catastrophic cognitive impairment. Advocates for dehydration say it is just medical ethics, the withdrawal of the medical treatment of tube feeding. (Now, there is even a lawsuit to compel starvation by withholding spoon feeding–not a medical treatment!)
Dehydrating helpless people to death was once unthinkable. Then, in the 80s, bioethicists began advocating withdrawing tube-supplied food and fluids. And so it came to pass.
The ‘take-home message’ I believe, is that these people need to be considered as just that, people. We wouldn’t deliberately starve and dehydrate a dog to death let alone a person. The research coming out of Cambridge helps to make that point.