Wow! Scientist have found a new way to test people who appear to be in a vegetative state. Even though a tested man had shown no signs of life since a car accident 5 years ago, they found that he was still thinking. He was asked five questions like whether he had a brother and was asked to think about his living room for yes and playing tennis for no. Because people use different parts of their brains to think about descriptions and activities the scientists were able to follow what part of his brain was active through an MRI machine. He answered 4 out of the 5 questions correctly.
This is both fascinating and terrifying to me. One, the whole process of discovering that information is just amazing and the fact that someone who has not been able to communicate for five years is now able to communicate to some degree is neat. However, it is terrifying to think that the man has been trapped inside his useless body unable to move or communicate in anyway. He has been just lying there scared, alone and trapped. I can’t even begin to imagine the horror. If I were in that position I may be lying there silently begging for someone to ask me whether I wanted to live any longer so I could begin thinking about tennis with all my might.
A further explanation of this study can be found here.