Monday, November 23, 2009
In The Face Of Ignorance...
A car crash victim has spoken of the horror he endured for 23 years after he was misdiagnosed as being in a coma when he was conscious the whole time.I have "pulled the plug" on my own father, (in his case a respirator, not dehydration) I do not speak as an extremist here. But when there is not unanimity on what to do, when medical "knowledge" is incomplete, we must side with the possibility of life.
Rom Houben, trapped in his paralysed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them - but could make no sound.
'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegatative state.
'I dreamed myself away,' he added, tapping his tale out with the aid of a computer.
Doctors used a range of coma tests before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'.
But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.
Mr Houben described the moment as 'my second birth'. Therapy has since allowed him to tap out messages on a computer screen.
To do less is to deny the essential humanity of the victim.
How dare we?!