New Year, New Fear 

Wednesday, January 12th, 2022

It’s a brand-new year, and I’ve got a brand new fear: Being in a persistent vegetative state, yet fully aware of the outside world:

By 2016, more than 1,000 patients around the world had been scanned using variations on the brain-imaging technique we had developed, and an independent scientific review concluded that between 20 and 25 per cent of them were like Carol and Scott; conscious and aware, despite their outward appearance, trapped in their immobile bodies, listening silently to every conversation at their bedside, and every decision that had ever been made on their behalf.

Dr. Adrian Owen, who pioneered this research, is now fighting for imaging that can help these patients gain a voice.


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