Locked-In Syndrome Essay

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Locked-In Syndrome

Imagine a world in which human communication is executed through the simplicity of thought. No muscle action- no nodding, smiling, slapping, pointing, speaking, or feeling...just through the immobile and inconspicuous medium of thought. This is an example of a locked-in patient. In a locked-in condition, the patient's ability to move his/her limbs, neck, and even muscles is brought to an abrupt halt. Messages ordered by the brain do not reach the muscles that consequently carry out the physical tasks of the brain. The locked-in syndrome leaves the victim completely paralyzed sparing only the eye muscles in most cases.

The reason for this disability is most commonly due to lesions in the nerve centers that
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The story of jean-Dominique Bauby is not only inspirational but has motivated scientists around the world to enhance technological means to broaden brain communication. Bauby, a 42 year old editor-in-chief of a French Magazine suffered from a severe brain-stem stroke in 1995. His body was instantly paralyzed leaving him with only one functioning eye muscle. Bauby is praised to this day for his ability to invent life for himself in the most appalling of circumstances. In fact, he astounded the international community when he came out with his own book, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"(2).

In this book is explained the number of medical staff and nurses who ignore or overlook the feelings and views of the patient whose only fault is his/her lack of physical or verbal communication. A strong prognosis needs to be recognized and respected for the acknowledgement of the rich mind trapped in a locked-in body. Bauby in his book said, " How many people in this state in enclosed half-lit hospital beds are never stimulated, never recognised as peoples with intact minds who can still contribute of only their talents are acknowledged?" Roger Rees of Flinders University in Adelaide agrees, " Can we make the quantum leap from befuddled

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