Validity of diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state” in question

Tests of a patient diagnosed as having been in a “persistent vegetative state” for twelve years following a car crash have demonstrated that he is self-aware and capable of mentally responding to communication from caregivers.  The tests were performed using an fMRI machine. Medical staff had refused to accept his parents’ assertions to the same effect.  Observations since the scan have continued to support the diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state,” so it appears that current diagnostic standards are in question. [BBC]

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