Severely brain-damaged patients are commonly misdiagnosed, often aware and may well recover, says authoritative new report

By Peter Saunders Editor’s note. Dr. Saunders is a former general surgeon and CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organization with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members. People with severe brain damage are difficult to diagnose reliably, not uncommonly recover, and are often much more aware than we think. Specifically: Four …

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British Supreme Court: Families can decide to starve brain damaged patients to death

“The Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent” By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children The Supreme Court has ruled that doctors can withdraw food and fluid from brain-damaged patients without going to court – if the patient’s family is in agreement. The Care not Killing (CNK) Alliance, of which SPUC is a …

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Two New Jersey families fight to keep their sons on life-support

“Eerily similar” cases, shades of Alfie Evans By Dave Andrusko In an incredible coincidence two families are fighting to keep their sons on life support at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. CHOP has declared both Areen Chakrabarti and Jayden Auyeung brain-dead and want them taken off of ventilators, according to Fox News, However, “Both boys are …

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Attempting to give patients in a locked-in syndrome “their voice back”

By Dave Andrusko Before I started writing this post, I checked to see how many times NRL News Today had written about Dr. Adrian Owen, who is a Canadian Excellence Research Chair in cognitive neuroscience and imaging based at the University of Western Ontario’s Brain and Mind Institute. Today’s post will make 14 stories about …

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Unjustly dehumanizing patients with severe brain injuries

By Dave Andrusko Adequately discussing Prof. Joseph J. Fins’ New York Times op-ed “Brain Injury and the Civil Right We Don’t Think About” of a while back not only doesn’t lend itself to brevity, it is also so important it justifies a more elaborate examination. In that vein I’ve promised myself I will read Prof. …

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Woman who had suffered catastrophic brain injury communicates with her mom after 21 years

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition On December 29 the Canadian Press published a “Christmas miracle” story. A Nova Scotia woman, Joellen Huntley, who had suffered a catastrophic brain injury in 1996, communicated with her mother, on Christmas day, for the first time in 21 years. Her mother called it a “Christmas …

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Justice for Jahi

By Wesley J. Smith In California, Jahi McMath is legally dead. In New Jersey, she is legally alive. Now, the deceased—or profoundly disabled—teenager is the subject of litigation that could make history. A quick rundown: In 2013, the then thirteen-year-old girl suffered a cardiac arrest after undergoing throat surgery. Jahi’s brain was deprived of oxygen, …

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Judge Rules Jahi McMath May Not be Dead

By Wesley J. Smith This could be one of the biggest bioethics cases since Terri Schiavo. A judge has ruled that the teenager, declared dead in California, may not be dead. From the East Bay Express story: Jahi McMath, the Oakland teenager whose brain death case has sparked national debate, may not currently fit the …

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Resisting the urge to dehumanize patients with severe brain injuries

By Dave Andrusko The intent of the last post of each day is always to be brief. But adequately discussing Prof. Joseph J. Fins’ New York Times op-ed “Brain Injury and the Civil Right We Don’t Think About” not only doesn’t lend itself to brevity, it is also so important it justifies a more elaborate …

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Minimally Conscious, not Minimally Human

Caring for the “Smallest” of Lives What gives human life value? How we answer that question will determine who lives and who dies. By Eric Metaxas In the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” comedian Eric Idle leads a cart full of dead bodies through a plague-ravished medieval village yelling, “Bring out your dead!” …

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Dr. Adrian Owen attempting to give patients in a locked-in syndrome “their voice back”

By Dave Andrusko Before I started writing this post, I checked to see how many times NRL News Today had written about Dr. Adrian Owen, who is a Canadian Excellence Research Chair in cognitive neuroscience and imaging based at the University of Western Ontario’s Brain and Mind Institute. Today’s post will make 14 stories about …

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The “right to die” and the Karen Ann Quinlan case at 40

By Dave Andrusko The name Thaddeus Pope may ring a bell with particularly careful readers of NRL News Today. We have written before about Pope, who is Director, Health Law Institute, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota, and author of the hugely influential “Medical Futility Blog.” He is a major player in …

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