May 6, 2014
VEGETATIVE STATE MISDIAGNOSES: . . . are more prevalent than many (even physicians) think. The case of Canadian Scott Routley is another example. Diagnosed as in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for years, new research using functional MRI has demonstrated that Routley is aware of his surroundings and capable of answering simple yes or no questions by being asked to think of certain things for “yes” and other things for “no,” which light up different areas of his brain, visible on the MRI.
I explored this topic extensively in my book, The Law of Life & Death and in a recent TEDx talk. The research is truly a game-changer for severe brain injury, and proves rather definitively that many PVS patients are actually in a minimally conscious state (MCS) instead.