Sunday, November 18, 2012

Advance Directives Should Address fMRI Results

At least for the foreseeable future, there will be uncertainty over whether some PVS patients are in a cognitive state more like locked-in syndrome.  (National Post)

Consequently, it might be prudent for individuals to address this situation in their advance directives.  For example: "I do/do not want to be sustained with life support if I am diagnosed in a PVS, even if fMRI shows I have some responsiveness."  Of course, if the fMRI data shows that the patient has decision making capacity, then the patient could revoke the advance directive.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are the disabled "the ones that got away" from being organ donated? How do these two groups intersect? They sure do but in these latest discussions of "someone's home" in PVS bodies etc it's made out as if they don't. Am I to understand that an organ donor won't ever even make it to the disabled population, and that that's how dead he is?

Secondly, shouldn't Dr Adrian Owen's invention of reading the thoughts of the PVS brain be applied to those currently being slated for organ donation... maybe asking them directly if they really do want to donate organs?

I don't understand why this discussion of the comatose and the ventilated takes place without so- called "brain dead" organ donors in the picture?

I feel there is a smoke screen in the room. The sudden spotlight on Dr Owen is weird because he has been around for a long time now. Could it be that the Rasouli case along with the resurfacing of Dr Owen is designed to draw a difference between PVS and organ donors i.e. organ donors are just dead and hopeless, period. And off the map? I predict there will be an increase in organ harvesting after the Rasouli/Owen issue quietens down. The public will be assuaged that someone is minding the shop and that IF there are still PVS and disabled people out there that donors really are totally useless... so useless that they aren't even disabled, or could be.

These are all strategies I fear. There is no real spirit of discovery here.