Health Care

U.K. Case Highlights Consciousness Debate

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from