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U.K. Case Highlights Consciousness Debate

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U.K. Case Highlights Consciousness Debate

Health Care

U.K. Case Highlights Consciousness Debate

U.K. Case Highlights Consciousness Debate

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5952920/5952921" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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News that a severely brain-damaged woman in the United Kingdom showed the same mental responses as a normally conscious person when given certain commands has led to speculation of how best to care for similar patients.

Michele Norris talks with Dr. Joseph Fins, Chief of the Division of Medical Ethics and professor of medicine at New York's Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Fins says the researchers were looking at pathways — or circuits — in the brain that process specific types of information.