TV: BBC Panorama on communicating with patients suffering from disorders of consciousness

BBC1, Tuesday 13 November 2012, 22.35-23.35 and available after broadcast via the iPlayer

From the programme’s website: “In a world exclusive, Panorama follows a group of severely brain injured patients and reveals the revolutionary efforts made to help them communicate with their families and the outside world.

Never before filmed, this Panorama Special spent more than a year with a group of vegetative patients in Britain and Canada.

They witness the moment when a patient regarded as vegetative for more than a decade is able to answer a series of questions whilst inside a brain scanner.

The findings have profound implications for the patients and their families, as well as ethical consequences for scientists and medical staff.”

In an earlier post (now updated), I looked at the law governing the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from patients in vegetative states and the implications of evidence from imaging studies that some of these patients have been misdiagnosed.

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