I know that we are aware of what is going on around us, whether visibly conscious or not. This is proof. Also, when we work with those who appear in a coma, or unresponsive, we must ensure that we treat them with dignity and respect.
As I cared for my dying father in his LTC room, I held his hand, talked to him, and told him he should be free to visit mom in heaven. His time was done. I tried to get him pain meds for a month, as I knew he was in pain. It was a bitter fight, as he could not articulate his need. He sang at the top of his lungs, as singing was a comfort. He couldn't remember the words, but it was his way of assuaging the pain.
Too bad the nurses didn't believe me.
I wrote in my book:
Science reporter, Anne McIlroy writes:
They sleep, sometimes snore, and regularly open their eyes, but patients in a vegetative state appear to be completely unaware of the world around them. Are they?
That’s the question that drives celebrated British researcher Adrian Owen, who is moving to Canada in December and bringing five of his colleagues with him. He has pioneered a new way to communicate with seemingly unconscious patients by putting them in a brain imager and asking them to think particular kinds of thoughts.
“We keep finding patients who aren’t what they appear to be,” Dr. Owen said. “They’ve been residing in nursing homes for years on end. But put them in a scanner and suddenly they can imagine playing tennis.”
In Pictures: Awareness in the unconscious
Published British researcher Adrian Owen has pioneered a new way to communicate with seemingly unconscious patients
Read more of this story here:
British researcher to use EEG to determine consciousness