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.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Advance Directives Should Address fMRI Results
Thaddeus Mason Pope is Director of the Health Law Institute and Professor of Law and at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. <> <> He is also an Adjunct Professor with the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology; Adjunct Associate Professor with the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College; and Visiting Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at St. Georges University. <> <> Professor Pope is an internationally recognized expert in bioethics and medical ethics. He has over 120 publications in: leading medical journals, law reviews, bar journals, nursing journals, bioethics journals, and book chapters. He also coauthors the definitive 1500-page treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking.