Medical breakthrough may impact ‘right to die’ discussion
In Lyon, France, a man severely injured in a car wreck was in a “permanent vegetative state,” but came out of it after 15 years with use of a medical device implanted on the vagus nerve in his neck, which stimulated the nerve. LifeSiteNews reports he’s not fully awake, but is responsive and that therapy is under way.
Bobby Schindler of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network responds to the exciting news: “There has been research over the past several years that has exposed the fact that this diagnosis is misapplied upwards of 50 percent of the time. This new finding goes along with what has already existed as far as how this diagnosis has been used over and over again to justify killing people.”
Schindler notes that when the plug is pulled on a person with a PVS diagnosis, it’s a different party judging that the individual’s life is not worth living.
“It’s an attack on the dignity of the human person,” he argues. “Just because someone has a brain injury and needs help and rehabilitation, that’s no reason to use a diagnosis in such a dehumanizing way. It’s even worse to use a diagnosis to justify killing someone because we believe they have no value or they can’t be helped.”
Schindler’s sister Terri suffered a heart attack and brain damage, was diagnosed in a permanent vegetative state, and after a lengthy court battle was removed from life support and allowed to starve and dehydrate to death. Her life ended March 31, 2005. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is named in her honor.