Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Not such a vegetable

The very term 'vegetative state' (let alone 'persistent' and 'permanent vegetative state') has always struck me as rhetoric that is designed to influence our response as much as to describe a person suffering from a medical condition.

If I recall correctly, the Tony Bland Case, [in which a victim of the Hillsborough disaster (who was deemed to be in a hopeless 'permanent vegetative state') was euthanised, by the withdrawal of foods and fluids] was used as a test case to redefine the provision of food and fluids as medical intervention.

Now it has been proven that Scott Routley, who has been in a so-called vegetative state for more than a decade, is demonstrably able to understand and respond to questions from his medical team.  So not such a vegetable, after all...

Let us hope and pray that this new medical evidence has some impact on the campaign to euthanise the sick, and helps medical staff to remain aware of the humanity of their patients, rather than mentally writing them off as vegetables...

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