Versión en Español

Contents

Alleged Discrepancies

Article Reprints

Audio Resources

Bible Bullets

Darwin Day Debate

Decisive Designs

E-Books

“In the News”

Reason & Revelation

Research Articles

Scripturally Speaking

Sensible Science

Resources

Discovery for Kids

Examine the Evidence

Home Study Courses

Feedback

EBGlobal

A.P. Information

About AP

Contact AP

Copyright Statement

Help AP

Privacy Statement

Speaking Schedules

A.P. Scientists and
Auxiliary Writers


Usage Guidelines








Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
October 2006 - 5[10]:40-R

Terri Schiavo
by Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
[Español]
Printer version | Email this article

Terri Schiavo’s husband, Michael, listed three dates on her tombstone. The first is her birthdate (December 3, 1963). The second is the date that Michael believed she “departed from this Earth” (February 25, 1990—the day she was found collapsed on the floor). The third was the day on which he declared Terri was “at peace” (March 31, 2005). His contention was that she officially died in 1990. However, British researchers now may have many people questioning his decision to pull the feeding tube—as well as the diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state.”

Researchers studied a 23-year-old woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury. The MRI technology determined that the young lady’s brain functioned comparably to those of healthy volunteers. Adrian Owen, one of the authors of the study, noted: “What we’ve developed is a method for detecting when someone is aware in the absence of other clinical evidence” (as quoted in Hopkin, 2006). Nature staff writer Michael Hopkin remarked:

Neuroscientists have re-ignited the debate over whether patients in a vegetative state are conscious of their surroundings, by claiming that a woman in such a “waking coma” can respond to verbal commands. The researchers say that brain scans show that she can selectively think of performing certain actions, such as playing tennis, on request (2006).

Adrian Owen and his colleagues observed:

To address this question of conscious awareness, we conducted a second fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging—BH) study during which the patient was given spoken instructions to perform two mental imagery tasks at specific points during the scan. One task involved imagining playing a game of tennis and the other involved imagining visiting all of the rooms of her house, starting from the front door. During the periods that she was asked to imagine playing tennis, significant activity was observed in the supplementary motor area. In contrast, when she was asked to imagine walking through her home, significant activity was observed in the parahippocampal gyrus, the posterior parietal cortex, and the lateral premotor cortex. Her neural responses were indistinguishable from those observed in healthy volunteers performing the same imagery tasks in the scanner (Owen, et al., 2006, 313:1402, emp. added).

Neuroscientists are planning future studies to ask this young girl a series of “yes” or “no” questions in order to determine her feelings and level of consciousness. This study should go a long way in proving that the term “persistent vegetative state” is not a definitive diagnosis—and likewise remind us all of the innate value of every human life.

REFERENCES

Hopkin, Michael (2006), “Thoughts of Woman in ‘Waking Coma’ Revealed,” Nature, September 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.nature.com/news/2006/060904/pf/060904-11_pf.html.

Owen, Adrian M., Martin R. Coleman, et al. (2006), “Detecting Awareness in the Vegetative State,” Science, 313:1402, September 8.



Copyright © 2006 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
U.S.A.
Phone (334) 272-8558
http://www.apologeticspress.org



Web site engine code is Copyright © 2003 by PHP-Nuke. All Rights Reserved. PHP-Nuke is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL license.
Page Generation: 0.091 Seconds