Saturday, March 26, 2005

Misdiagnosis of the vegetative state: retrospective study in a rehabilitation unit

The British Medical Journal had a study on false diagnosis of PVS in 1996: "The vegetative state needs considerable skill to diagnose, requiring assessment over a period of time; diagnosis cannot be made, even by the most experienced clinician, from a bedside assessment. Accurate diagnosis is possible but requires the skills of a multidisciplinary team experienced in the management of people with complex disabilities. Recognition of awareness is essential if an optimal quality of life is to be achieved and to avoid inappropriate approaches to the courts for a declaration for withdrawal of tube feeding. "

Dr. Cranford came to his PVS diagnosis after a single 45-minute examination session.
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