Ladies and gentlemen, this is fascinating. And tonight, it will be on Panorama here in the UK.
fMRI has been used to further investigate just how ‘vegetative’ patients are. One man who was presumed unaware and unresponsive for twelve years has communicated with doctors to say that he’s not in pain. fMRI isn’t anything new, really, but the applications for it are numerous. This particular use is quite important to me, as my first placement was working with people in minimally conscious or vegetative state, and I always wondered whether the people could hear and understand me when I spoke to them.
In fact, I was at the hospital featuring in tonight’s programme, which, by the way, was amazing. It was where I first encountered assistive technology and highly customised wheelchairs, and all the staff were wonderful at their jobs, and to me!
So tune in tonight if you can, or watch it on the BBC iPlayer when you have time. And, if you’re feeling generous, you can even support the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney by donating, buying Christmas cards and/or sponsoring someone’s time in the computer room so they can find ways to communicate.