Tag Archives: Consciousness

Man thought to be in vegetative state was actually conscious the whole time

Story from the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Ace of Spades via ECM)


A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said.

‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,’ said Mr Houben, now 46.

Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was ‘extinct’.

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.

[…]Mr Houben said: ‘I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me – it was my second birth.

‘I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead.’

What are we to make of the Terri Schiavo killers now? Is it morally praiseworthy to advocate for getting rid of inconvenient people? Shouldn’t we look on the misfortunes of others as opportunities to act out our love and compassion for our fellow man? Doctors can be wrong in their diagnoses.