As many as 25,000 patients in the UK have been classified as ‘brain dead’, but about 5,000 of them have died, Professors Neil Skulding of the University of Bristol, Adrian Owen of Western University in Canada and John Keon of Georgetown University in the US say. Already awake. Thanks to new brain-scanning techniques and studies, they have been able to show that activities can indeed be seen in the brain.
The group of scientists is convinced that there is also a way to find out what these patients are feeling and thinking. They may also be able to make their own decisions about their medical treatments.
However, the UK’s College of Physicians is not entirely convinced. They admit that the results are a step in the right direction, but the results need to be considered further in depth. “The research has not yet developed enough to be applied to all patients who have been declared brain dead,” she added. The researchers found this reaction to be unethical.