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

13 November 2012

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.


TV: Between life and death

19 July 2010

Available on iPlayer until 26th July 2010

“Provocative documentary following the doctors who can now interrupt, and even reverse, the process of death. Filmed over six months in the country’s leading brain injury unit (Addenbooke’s Hospital, Cambridge), it follows the journey of a man who, by only moving his eyes, is eventually asked if he wants to live or die. Two other families are also plunged into the most ethically difficult decision in modern medicine.”

There is more on the programme at its site, including a blogpost by the head of the brain injury unit.