Blog Editor


  • Copyright 2005-20012 by Adam Kolber
    All rights reserved.

« Welcome Guest Blogger Neil Levy | Main | NELB Roundup »


I am the grateful recipient of a liver transplant with surgery just six months ago. I am quite healthy despite elevated liver enzyme levels due to hepatitis C, which will have to be treated. I am observing a growing awareness of another consciousness in my body and spirit and dreams which, of course, is welcome but unexpected. This causes me to question things like what is happening on the level of DNA and consciousness after death and subsequent incarnation (literally). My donor was clinically dead but has in part survived. I can feel it.


This is a fantastic, thought-provoking post. You are certainly right that, to the extent the study addresses the issue of consciousness at all, it can only provide limited evidence for it in this patient.

I suppose an important, though less conceptually interesting question, is whether the replication of the study would lead us to change our understanding of what it means to be in a vegetative state or simply shift the diagnostic criteria for determining that someone is in a vegetative state.

You end with a great hypothetical question about the possible implications of the study if, in fact, the patient were deemed to have some conscious mental activity as opposed to non-conscious mental activity. Intuitively, your point seems right to me (although, as an aside, the wikipedia entry on locked-in syndrome suggests that the syndrome is not quite the Sartrean hell that it sounds like to most of us):

I think, too, that your point calls to mind challenges to claims about comparisons between beings-in-existence and beings-no-longer-in-existence. In this case, however, the issue is how we compare unpleasant conscious mental activity to (let us assume) not-unpleasant unconscious mental activity.

I have already enjoy your website, and it is so nice and cool. I will visit your website again. Thank you. Please More updates

The comments to this entry are closed.