A study could give professionals in the medical industry pause to rethink the handling of people in a supposed vegetative state.
The new study conducted on 104 patients in Columbia University's neurological ICU found that one in seven patients who underwent brain scans were able to respond to verbal commands in their brains, even though there was no external sign of it, such as the movement of a body part.
Life News reports the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows 15 percent of patients responded to the verbal commands.
Bobby Schindler of the Terry Schiavo Life & Hope Network says the study shows we are giving up on people far too quickly.
“And often times this decision is to end their lives,” he warns, “which is the insanity to give up hope and not give these individuals the opportunity to see in fact if they can recover.”
Many people are sustained only by food and hydration through a feeding tube, he says, but often they are withdrawn based on their diagnosis which results in their death.
Schindler's sister, Terry Schiavo, suffered a heart attack and brain injury, and although she was able to respond in a limited way a court order resulted in the withdrawal of treatment and she died.
Schindler says the new study validates people such as himself who say patients deserve protection and rehabilitation from medical professionals rather than handing them a death sentence.