One of the most terrifying accidents imaginable is to become paralyzed and to be unable to speak. Fortunately, scientists are gradually learning how to interpret signals from the brain and translate them into letters, words, and eventually speech. Read the whole story.Continue reading "A milestone for brain-computer interfaces (BCI)"
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. …Continue reading "Unjustly dehumanizing patients with severe brain injuries"
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 …Continue reading "Woman who had suffered catastrophic brain injury communicates with her mom after 21 years"
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, …Continue reading "Justice for Jahi"
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 …Continue reading "Resisting the urge to dehumanize patients with severe brain injuries"
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!” …Continue reading "Minimally Conscious, not Minimally Human"
By Jennifer Popik, J.D., Legislative Counsel, Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee As the tragedy of Terri Schindler Schiavo’s death by starvation illustrates, euthanasia advocates have long been quick to dismiss as worthless the lives of those people with intellectual and physical disabilities they label with the dehumanizing term …Continue reading "Maggie’s powerful story raises troubling questions about how people with serious intellectual disabilities are diagnosed and cared for"
By Dave Andrusko Periodically, the popular press will pick up on something almost as if it were a sudden revelation. Flash! [fill in the blank]. That is the typically the case with the ‘discovery’ that some severely brain-injured patients who survive the initial trauma have been misdiagnosed. The medical staff concludes that patient “A” is …Continue reading "“Clarifying” the mystery of severe brain injuries should never be an excuse to starve and dehydrate patients"
By Dave Andrusko National Right to Life President and Pro-Life Perspective Host Carol Tobias today offers insight into the late bioethicist Ronald Cranford who argued that people with severe cognitive disabilities ought to be “allowed” to die. (See “The Minimally Conscious State.”) At the other end of the spectrum Nature magazine’s David Cyranoski offered an …Continue reading "Communicating with the “Unreachable”–the severely cognitively injured"
By Jennifer Popik, JD This week, a shocking study was published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association (CMAJ). The study of six different Canadian trauma centers found that the majority of deaths in patients suffering a traumatic brain injury resulted from the withdrawal of life support, generally within the first three days of …Continue reading "Canadian Doctors Quick to Push Families of Brain-Injured to Withdraw Treatment, Study Reveals"