Bioethicist Wesley Smith analyzes this situation:
“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. 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 can’t imagine how horrible it would be to be aware of everything and not to be able to respond. When I was instructing nursing students, I used to stress to them to always speak to patients (like this man) as if they could fully hear and understand them, because we just don’t know what a person experiences. But there are many voices these days getting louder with pressures to kill persons like this under the guise of “cost containment.” Scary…
KFL Note: The Center for Practical Bio-ethics has been pushing for legislation, in Kansas and in “Obamacare” proposals, that will result in more pre-signed directives to withhold food and water for medical situations when individuals have limited consciousness.