Inside the vegetative mind


Thanks for passing along this link. One comment: I see a big difference between referring to someone as being “in a vegetative state” (which seems OK to me) and referring to someone as a “vegetable” (which seems offensive to me).

1 Like

You’d think, though, that there’d be an even better adjective. What with humans being, like, not plants.

Thanks for changing the title. I’m about halfway through the article – it’s very worthwhile reading. I have one more suggested change: the URL is still Can that be revised as well?

1 Like

Agreed, although that’s the currently agreed-upon medical terminology. Such terms have a way of becoming more offensive over time – after all, “idiot” and “imbecile” were once specific medical diagnoses. At least since the Normalization “movement” started in the US by Wolf Wolfensberger in the early 1970’s, there’s been a focus in human services to name the condition (“vegetative state”) rather than the person (“vegetable”) as a way of respecting the individual. That was the unstated focus of my comment – I’m more patient with the medical establishment’s updating of terminology as long as they’re making the kind of progress described in the article to actually help people suffering in that state.


Neurologist Steve Laureys? He lost a lot of credibility back in 2009 when he pronounced locked-in consciousness in the case of Rom Houben, using “facilitated communication”.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.