Man 'Trapped in Coma' for 23 Years Was Awake Whole Time

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    An engineering student thought to be in a coma for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it has emerged.

    Rom Houben was misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state after a car crash left him totally paralyzed.

    But, in actuality, he was trapped in his own body the whole time with no way of letting friends and family know he could hear every word they were saying.

    The 46-year-old, who can now tap out computerized messages and read books on a device above his hospital bed, has revealed: "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.

    More Here
     
  2. abcgrad94

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    I am positive Terry Schivo was also not brain dead as her husband insisted.

    I hope this case is widely publicized so that people will realize how precious EVERY life is, not just the young and perfectly healthy.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Yea good thing this guy was not married to Mr. Schivo.
     
  4. Aaron

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    I wonder how he would have fared under Obamacare?
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Not worth the money to spend on him. He would be "expendable".
     
  6. donnA

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    not wellm he'd be dead without a doubt, people like him have no value to obama
     
  7. Mexdeaf

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    Not unless he can vote two or three times each election.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  8. MrJim

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    It's like "Johnny Get Your Gun"~sad stuff.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

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    That is amazing that they were able to find out that this gentleman wasn't in a coma but is actually experiencing locked in syndrome after such a long period of time. Additionally, his locked in syndrome appears to involve his eyes too, which is not the usual picture.

    It is possible that some people currently in a coma are actually experiencing locked in syndrome. However, there would be evidence of this from brain scans and other medical testing.

    Terry Schivo did not display brain activity on EEG and most other patients in a vegetative state also do not.

    The movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a beautiful french movie about a person who suffers from locked-in syndrome.
     
    #9 Gold Dragon, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2009
  10. donnA

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    so what in 23 years they never thought of this and they'd have known all along he wasn't in a coma, and they said he was anyway?
    If they did these tests and still beleived he was ina coma, then why couldn't this have happened to Teri Schivo, because it happened to this man?
     
  11. Johnv

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    That's apples and oranges to this case. Terry Schiavo's postmortem showed that the cognitive centers of her brain had been dead for quite some time. In the OP case, here, brain scans on the man show activity. There was no such activity with Schiavo. Schiavo should have been pulled from the machines long before she was.

    Additionally, the debate over Terry Schiavo on this board at the time was more about whether someone has the right to cease lifesaving support from their spouse. Most were in agreement that a souse does, they just disagreed whether Schaivo's spouse did.
     
  12. Gold Dragon

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    I appears that way, or maybe an EEG was never done. Either way, it is a case of bad medicine where a patient was diagnosed in a vegetative state and either nobody did an EEG or nobody properly interpreted the EEG to say that his correct diagnosis was actually locked-in syndrome for 23 years. The reason for the bad medicine is probably because it is thought to be rare for locked-in syndrome to include paralysis of the eyes. But maybe that idea should be re-evaluated after this case.

    They did do EEGs on Terri Schiavo and she clearly did not have locked-in syndrome.
     
    #12 Gold Dragon, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2009
  13. abcgrad94

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    Machines? What machines are you talking about? A feeding tube is not a "machine" it's a means of nourishment for someone who physically cannot eat. There is no excuse whatsoever for starving a person to death simply because they seem to be "brain dead" as long as said person is still living and breathing on their own.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Yes, it's a machine, and a spouse has the right and responsibility to decide whether keeping their loved one artificually supported with a feeding tube or any other external means is appropriate or not for the circumstance. I've made it clear to my wife that I do not want to be artificially sustained if I were ever in that situation.
    Schiavo didn't "seem" to be brain dead, she was brain dead, and should have been allowed to die a natural death long before she died, rather than have her family play three rounds of quien es mas macho.
     
  15. annsni

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    See, if a baby is not given food, it dies. If an adult is not given food, it dies. If anyone is not given food, it dies. It is not PREVENTING someone from dying to provide nutrition because, apparently, that person is not meant to die yet. Hydration and nutrition are basic rights of every single human being alive - even if they're brain dead. Her body was not ready to give up so instead we help her along? That is cruel and not worthy of any believer who believes that life is a gift.
     
  16. Gold Dragon

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    This is a very difficult situation from a medical ethics point of view.

    Before the invention of gastric feeding tubes and TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition), all of these people would have died quite quickly and I would say naturally. With the invention of gastric feeding tubes and TPN, they can live artificially for decades, eating up resources with zero medical chance of recovery. I guess you can never discount miracles that medicine cannot currently explain or future medical developments, but should we be making decisions based on the expectation of that?

    Ultimately it is a personal and family decision and if they have the resources to continue treatment indefinitely, then I guess that is their prerogative. It highlights the importance of leaving a living will so that your family will not have to make these difficult decisions for you.
     
  17. Johnv

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    There's HUGE difference between a baby and a person who is brain dead on life support.

    I've made it clear to my spouse that if I were in Terry Schiavo's condition, please allow me to die normally. Is it your assertion that I should not be allowed to decide whether I want to be artificially sustained if I were brain dead, or that my wife should not be allowed to carry out my wishes?
     
  18. abcgrad94

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    There are elderly folks and mentally handicapped people who have lost the ability to feed themselves. A friend of ours had a mentally handicapped little boy that had to be nurished through a feeding tube. It took "resources" to feed him and mentally I guess some would think he was of no benefit to society, but in God's eyes he was a LIFE and God created him for a reason.

    If you want to argue that feeding tubes aren't "natural" then maybe we should argue that medications aren't "natural" and are keeping people alive artificially. With that kind of logic, all the folks on heart medicine should be allowed to "die naturally" instead of draining resources.:tear:
     
  19. Johnv

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    Again, there's a HUGE difference between your examples and a person who is brain dead.

    Again, I ask, is it your assertion that I should not be allowed to decide whether I want to be artificially sustained if I were brain dead, or that my wife should not be allowed to carry out my wishes?
     
  20. abcgrad94

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    No. My assertion is that if a person is unable to communicate their wishes, we should give LIFE the benefit of the doubt. Under Obamacare, I have no doubt the man in this article would have died for lack of proper care.

    The brain is a very complex organ and I believe there are MANY things doctors still do not understand. That's why we should err on the side of caution when dealing with these matters.

    I do find it interesting that many liberals who oppose the death penalty for killers have no problem "pulling the plug" on the helpless.
     

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