Rorschach over at Lone Star Times sent me this interesting tidbit:
A British researcher has recently issued a paper on the subject of diagnoses of “Persistent Vegitative States” (PVS) that is sending shock waves through the culture of death. A British woman that had been diagnosed as PVS was studied over several months using functional MRI (fMRI) technology. This technology can “see” thoughts. Actually it detects changes in blood flow in different areas of the brain as they are stimulated/accessed. It was found that the woman was actually thinking and feeling and imagining and understanding words spoken to her.
The findings challenge the standard diagnosis of a vegetative state, implying that some patients might have what Dr. Lionel Naccache of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research called "a rich mental life" in an accompanying editorial.
"I was absolutely stunned" by the results, said Dr. Adrian Owen, a neuroscientist whose Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge led the study. "This showed that she is aware."
And even more interesting is the personal story written in the comment section of the thread at Lone Star Times.