Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Where is Sohanlal Walmiki the rapist of Aruna Shanbaug ?

 Image result for Sohanlal Walmiki
And more to the point, he was never charged with sexual assault. ... In 1980, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki the wardboy who assaulted her walked free into the world and ...


Cops to trace Aruna Shanbaug’s assailant if he is still alive.

For 42 years Aruna Shanbaug lay comatose in a Mumbai hospital. She was the subject of a landmark court case about euthanasia that went all the way to the Supreme Court. There is a law that bears her name that allows passive euthanasia under strict conditions even though it could never be applied to her.

Aruna Shanbaug. PTI
Aruna Shanbaug. PTI
As the front-page coverage of her death shows, the Aruna Shanbaug case was hardly a low-profile one. Yet now that she is dead, we have no idea if the man responsible for putting her into that vegetative state is dead or alive.
The only thing we can be sure of is that he is not in prison.
Shanbaug was assaulted on 27 November, 1973. In 1980, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki the wardboy who assaulted her walked free into the world and disappeared. According to Pinky Virani’s book about Shanbaug , Walmiki was angry with her because she had accused him of stealing the food of the dogs used in medical experiments and threatened to report him.
Now that Shanbaug is dead the Mumbai Police is exploring the possibility of adding Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code to the case four decades after the fact. But that’s only if they can find Walmiki.
Little is known about him even though he was a hospital employee. He is a native of Bulandshahr and had got married shortly before he raped Shanbaug. Apparently not even a picture exists of him in hospital and police files or court records! "We have been able to maintain the documents that are at the most 20 years old, but as this case is more than 40 years old, we are not sure whether Shanbaug’s papers would be in the records," said senior police inspector Sunil Tondwalkar from the Bhoiwada police station which had registered the original case in 1973 according to DNA.
Pinki Virani, who wrote a biography of Shanbaug and petitioned the Supreme Court for a mercy killing tells The Telegraph “Hospital ward boys claim he moved to Delhi, changed his identity and went on to work in a Delhi hospital.”
If that is true, the sweeper-cum-wardboy who throttled her with a dog chain in a Mumbai hospital, found a job and a second life in another hospital. That boggles the mind.
What most people also do not realize is that while everyone knows that Aruna Shanbaug was raped that night in the hospital after she had changed into her civvies in an empty operation theatre, the police records and FIR do not mention rape anywhere. The medical examination of Shanbaug testified after a “finger test” that her virginity was intact but the court never took into account the fact that she was sodomized. Though the judgment said “the accused had gone there with the intention to rape” Sohanlal was never charged with rape. He was convicted of attempted murder and robbery because he had stolen a watch and her earrings.
The reason apparently was Shanbaug’s fiancé, a junior doctor, who was afraid the rape charges would tarnish her reputation. Of course there is no way to know what Shanbaug might have wanted. According to the Times of India, the then dean of the hospital, Dr. Deshpande chose not to report the anal rape to spare her fiancé public “embarrassment”. Walmiki had sodomized her instead of vaginally raping her because she was in the middle of her menstrual cycle. He could have been charged under Section 377. Her fiancé was not even a complainant in the case. A former hospital matron said he hoped she would come around one day and they could get married. But that never happened. Eventually he moved got married and moved abroad. Shanbaug lay in her hospital bed while a court battle ensued over her life. Walmiki was sentenced to seven years, served his time and walked free, a beneficiary of our social squeamishness about rape.

Much is rightly being made of the care and devotion with which several generations of nurses at the KEM hospital took care of their battered and comatose colleague for over four decades. Journalist Sagarika Ghose tweeted those nurses who never gave up on Shanbaug were the “true bharat ratnas” because “(e)very day for decades, without fail, they brought justice, dignity to Aruna.” Dignity for sure. Justice? Not so much.
The system failed her in 1973 when the man who raped her was never charged with rape because the stigma of being raped outweighed the brutality of the assault. In the name of protecting her reputation, the system basically covered up what Walmiki actually did. Outrage of justice trumped, as the law quaintly puts it, outraging the modesty of a woman. Justice failed her then and it fails her right now as the police confess they have no idea where Walmiki is or if he is even dead or alive. When Virani tried to file an FIR on rape, she says the Delhi police told her they would not be able to find him and a lookout notice would not work either.
After the ‘Nirbhaya’ case we saw pictures of her rapists flashed all over the media. Nirbhaya’s identity still remains hidden in the Indian media and was cited as one of the reasons why the Leslee Unwin’s BBC documentary was banned in India. In contrast we have woken up to photographs of Aruna Shanbaug all over our newspapers today. We see Shanbaug with her twisted limbs and unseeing eyes. But there’s not a single photograph of the man responsible for her agony of the last 40 years.
The assault took all of ten minutes. In the case of Aruna Shanbaug, her rapist got seven years. She, on the other hand, got a life sentence.

Where is Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, the accused in ... - Quora

www.quora.com › Politics, Law, Government, and Judiciary › Law
13 hours ago - Where is Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, the accused in the Aruna Shaunbag ... Sohanlal was convicted of assault and robbery for which he was ...

The culprit, Sohanlal, was arrested but wasn’t charged for rape or sodomy since the doctors who examined her stayed mum about the anal rape as instructed by the hospital Dean.

 Sohanlal was convicted of assault and robbery for which he was sentenced to two concurrent 7 year imprisonments; but, such was the mockery of life that he completed his term and was set free from the prison, whereas, all that was left of Aruna was a screaming, vegetative body.

This is one of those cases where I think an eye for an eye, barbaric justice should have been meted out to the unimaginably cruel offender. There is no place for such a monster in a civilized society's judicial system. It is sickening to the very core to think that this being, all the animals and the insects and the plants and life are above this monstrous being, is allowed to lead his life in a civilized society with its protections and comforts after committing such horror.

Comment-news:=Can't reopen Aruna Shanbaug case unless court asks: Maharashtra government[govt:apathy as usual] ET 05 Jul 2016, 04:27 IST
The Maharashtra government today said it will not reopen the case of Aruna Shanbaug, the former nurse who died earlier in the day after lying in coma for 42 years following a brutal sexual assault, unless the court orders.
World's oldest comatose patient Aruna Shanbaug dead ET 05 Jun 2016, 16:46 IST
The 66-year-old was battling a serious bout of pneumonia and was on ventilator support, King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital sources said.
kill the rapist killer who got away-and not aruna as some people were saying

Yes, he is free and reportedly working in another hospital! He got seven years, then got out and changed his name. A friend of Aruna Shaunbag has been trying to locate him without success. He got away with murder.


Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki was sentenced to 7 years in jail after which he was released. His whereabouts are a closely guarded secret, by his family.  Rumour has it that he works in a Delhi hospital (see the irony) as a ward boy and under an alias.


Quora UserQuora User, Social Media Network Pervara Kapadia ... (more)
1 upvote by Biplab Mazumder.
The person who does the crime should have his Photo Put up on every site

Utkarsh SrivastavaUtkarsh Srivastava, Coder,Python,Java,C,C++
There is a rumour that he is working in a Delhi hospital,his whereabouts are a closely guarded secret. Shame on the Indian judicial system. He was released after 7 years but aruna got released after 42 years. Aruna's family also disowned her when they did not get any compensation from the government.

Glenn JacobsGlenn Jacobs
6 upvotes by Quora User, Sanjay Varghese, Jyoti Batra, (more)
Where ever he may be roaming now, his ultimate path takes him into a life where he begs the lord to take his life as soon as possible. Justice may not be done by the courts, law or any other sh*t ..but believe this, there is an almighty who counts everything, and, one day, will make all sinners pay really bad. Thats where Justice will be done.

    Aruna Shanbaug case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  1. Aruna Ramchandra Shanbaug (1 June 1948 – 18 May 2015), alternatively spelled Shanbhag, was an Indian nurse who was at the centre of a court case on ...

  2. In the news

  3. Image for the news result
    Aruna Shanbaug, once a nurse at KEM Hospital and then a patient for 42 years, lost her ...


 Landmark verdict’

In 2011, the Supreme Court allowed passive euthanasia, though it dismissed Ms. Virani’s plea.

Ms. Virani’s lawyer Shubhangi Tuli said: “It was difficult for us to initiate anything as euthanasia was not permitted in our country. We have to research international laws on the subject. The question before the court was human life under Article 21 of the Constitution, which does not just guarantee right to life but also the right to live with dignity. We raised this question: ‘Did her life amount to living with dignity?’ The judgment does not completely answer the question but made passive euthanasia available. It was a landmark judgment as it laid down a new law, which will help people in a vegetative condition.” The judgment provided some legal recourse to patients in persistent vegetative state (PVS). However, medical professionals believe the law still has a long way to go in ensuring the rights of patients in a similar condition.


Misadventures of the Supreme Court in Aruna Shanbaug v ...

Mar 13, 2011 - A Blog About India's Laws and Legal System, its Courts, and its Constitution ... The Supreme Court's decision this week in Aruna Shanbaug v. ... Declining jurisdiction in favour of the Bombay High Court would also have provided ..... enough to pay for it but are unwilling, Wife of that old man wants him to live,

 Taking rights out of the picture is also evident in the very framework of the judgment. The decision is based on the following (il)logical sequence:

1. If passive euthanasia is not expressly prohibited by law, it is permitted.
2. Passive euthanasia is an omission.
3. Omissions are not criminalized.
4. Therefore passive euthanasia is not criminalized.
5. Therefore passive euthanasia is permitted.


He Remained Trapped in Vegetative State for 12 Years. Then He Miraculously Awoke and Had a Jaw-Dropping Story to Tell.


It was the late 1980s. Martin Pistorious, only 12 years old at the time, was initially hospitalized with what doctors diagnosed as Cryptococci Meningitis. The boy’s condition quickly worsened, ultimately leaving him unable to move or speak.
Doctors ended up delivering heartbreaking news to the boy’s parents, telling them that their son’s time was limited and he would likely never be anything more than a vegetable. The parents were told by the hospital to keep Pistorious as comfortable as possible until he inevitably died, according to NPR.
Prepared for that unfathomably devastating outcome, the parents took their son home. But instead of dying, “Martin just kept going, just kept going,” Joan Pistorius, the boy’s mother, told NPR.

Photo provided to NPR by Martin Pistorius
Photo provided to NPR by Martin Pistorius
For 12 years, the parents took care of Pistorious, which was a serious undertaking. The boy’s dad, Rodney Pistorius, would wake up every morning to dress his son and take him to a special care center. He would then pick him up eight hours later, “bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores.”
Throughout all those years, Martin Pistorious showed no signs of improvement and the parents had very little hope that their son would ever recover.
Joan even remembers once telling her son, “I hope you die.”
“I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of relief,” she said.
But when Pistorious miraculously woke up, he claimed that he was “aware of everything” while trapped in a vegetative state — even his mother’s horrific comment.
“Yes, I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up. I was aware of everything, just like any normal person,” Pistorious, now 39, recalled to NPR. “Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again. The stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that — totally alone.”
“You don’t really think about anything. You simply exist. It’s a very dark place to find yourself because, in a sense, you are allowing yourself to vanish,” he continued.
He said that his thoughts quickly grew dark, and he became convinced that no one would ever show him “tenderness” or love him ever again. However, he recalled that he was eventually able to relate to his grieving mother.
“As time passed, I gradually learned to understand my mother’s desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” he added.

Martin Pistorius
Martin Pistorius
He also claims to remember how the care center where he was treated played “Barney” reruns over and over again.
“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” he said.
Pistorious now lives in Harlow, England, and has published a memoir about his incredible claims titled, “Ghost Boy: My Escape From a Life Locked Inside My Own Body.”

What is a 'coma' and 'what is a 'vegetative state'? | Topics ...

Many people dislike hearing the word 'vegetative' applied to someone they love. There are other names for the condition ('apallic syndrome' or 'unresponsive ...

EEG finds consciousness in the vegetative patients

www.element14.com › News › Blog › 2011 › November › 14
Nov 14, 2011 - A person considered to be in a vegetative state quietly lays in a hospital, motionless. Past. ... The search for consciousness in people in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) started in 2005 for Owen and his team. ... Filter Blog.

The advance directive impact of PET scans in vegetative ...

Jun 13, 2014 - If the use of PET diagnoses of vegetative states becomes an accepted health care standard, will people who make advance directives change their decisions? ... of Medicine, Bronx, NY. She blogs at The Doctor's Tablet.

Doctors Talk to Vegetative Patient Through Brain Scans

[so how can a court or a doctor  will kill(euthansia) such  a patient]

Since the brain scan experiments, all usual tests used to confirm vegetative ... If so, then it's quite possible vegetative people are living better lives than they ever ...
Communicating through thought
To get some answers, Adrian Owen at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, has been using brain scanning techniques to visualise the thoughts of people in vegetative states. Most recently, his team has been working with a 23-year old woman who was left with severe brain injuried following a car accident in July 2005. Since then, a team of different medical specialists concluded that she fulfilled all the diagnostic criteria for being in a vegetative state.
An fMRI scan of a patient's brainOwen begs to differ. He used a brain-scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging – fMRI – to look at how the woman’s brain responded to simple stimuli. At first, he played simple sentences to her, as well as garbled nonsense that sounded very similar. The spoken words alone caused neurons to fire in the woman’s superior and middle temporal gyri, regions of the brain involved in processing speech and language. And if the sentences contained ambiguous words, even more speech-related regions were brought into play.

NeuroLogica Blog » Communicating with the Vegetative

Nov 13, 2012 - A BBC program, Panorama, will soon air a show in which they explore a new technique for communicating with people who were believed to ...


  1. Communicating With a Patient in a Vegetative State ... - Well

  2. Feb 4, 2010 - In practice, of course, it makes us uncomfortable to believe people are ... It may also be worth noting that the term “persistent vegetative state' ...
  3. Can We Communicate with People in Vegetative States ...

  4. Apr 29, 2014 - We Can Travel to Another Star System by 2100 | Blog Home Page ... Moreover, it's important to recognize that not all people in vegetative states ...
  5. Detecting covert consciousness in the vegetative state | Mo ...

    www.theguardian.com › Science › Neuroscience
  6. Sep 2, 2011 - Adrian Owen's pioneering research shows that some vegetative patients are ... By analogy, most conscious people open their eyes during the ...


fMRI, Consciousness, and Vegetative States - SLS Blogs

Feb 6, 2010 - In the 19th century, many people in the western world were terrified of the ... alive” in a nursing home for those in a persistent vegetative state.


vegetative state | Dr. Walt's Health Blog - Dr. Walt Larimore

Dec 14, 2011 - The New York Times reports, “Three severely brain-injured people thought to be in an irreversible 'vegetative' state showed signs of full ...


Persistent Vegetative State Support Group | Facebook

Persistent Vegetative State Support Group. 251 likes · 27 ... I admire people who choose to shine even after all the storms they have been through. Lessons ...

  I support people who support such patients -AND NOT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN A HURRY TO KILL                 (EUTHANASIA)


  1. Perceptions of persons in the persistent vegetative state

  2. by K Gray - ‎2011 - ‎Cited by 25 - ‎Related articles
    Patients in persistent vegetative state (PVS) may be biologically alive, but these experiments indicate that people see PVS as a state curiously more dead than.
  3. Brains Of Patients In A Vegetative State React To ...

    www.science20.com › Life Sciences › Neuroscience › News Articles
  4. Dec 16, 2013 - Patients in a vegetative state are awake, breathe on their own, and ... in a vegetative state emotionally react to photographs of people they ...
  5. 'Hidden brain signatures' of consciousness in vegetative state

  6. Oct 21, 2014 - Brain networks in two behaviorally similar vegetative patients (left and middle) ... have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state that .... It also lists new blog posts, features, events, videos, and books.



DISCUSSIONS IN T.V. ON EUTHANASIA OF 'ARUNA SHANBAUGH' FUCTIONAL NEUROIMAGING OF BRAIN ;(2) P.E.T.(POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY) ;(3)FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (F.M.R.I.) ;(4)MAGNETIC ENCEPHALOGRAPHY(ME.G.)[5] Assistive computer interface technologies, such as Dasher in combination with eye tracking may be used to help patients communicate.(6) New direct brain interface mechanisms ARE THESE TESTS AVAILABLE IN INDIA?THESE WERE NOT DONE ON HER. The study of 65 patients, published in the British Medical Journal's BMJ Open, found 72% reported being happy, with just 7% wanting help to commit suicide.

Scans show surprising differences in brain-injury patients

"We have to abandon the idea that we can rely on a bedside exam in our assessment of some severe brain injuries," researcher Nicholas Schiff, of Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a statement. 


No euthanasia for Aruna Shanbaug, reiterate KEM hospital ...

timesofindia.indiatimes.com › City
Jul 17, 2014 - MUMBAI: The debate on euthanasia is back with the Supreme Court now seeking the views of all states and union territories about its legality.

graphic from American Digest

When Barbara’s lung cancer reappeared during the spring of 2008 her oncologist recommended aggressive treatment with Tarceva, a new chemotherapy. However, Oregon’s state run health plan denied the potentially life altering drug because they did not feel it was "cost-effective." Instead, the State plan offered to pay for either hospice care or physician-assisted suicide.
The answer is simple. Oregon state officials controlled the process of healthcare decision-making—not Barbara and her physician. Chemotherapy would cost the state $4,000 every month she remained alive; the drugs for physician-assisted suicide held a one-time expense of less than $100. Barbara’s treatment plan boiled down to accounting. To cover chemotherapy state policy demanded a five percent patient survival rate at five years. As a new drug, Tarceva did not meet this dispassionate criterion. To Oregon, Barbara was no longer a patient; she had become a "negative economic unit." 

After the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for mercy killing of a 60-year-old nurse living in a vegetative state for the last 37 years, Congress MP Manish Tewari demanded in Lok Sabha that a committee be formed to formulate a code of ethics to decide on continuation or withdrawal of the life

support system to such patients. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Tewari referred to the tragic plight of Aruna Shanbaug, who has been comatose for the last 37 years in a Mumbai hospital after a brutal sexual assault.



Persistent vegetative state

A persistent vegetative state is a condition of patients with severe brain damage who were in a coma, but progressed to a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness. It is a diagnosis of some uncertainty in that it deals with a syndrome. After four weeks in a vegetative state (VS), the patient is classified as in a persistent vegetative state. This diagnosis is classified as a permanent vegetative state (PVS) after approximately 1 year of being in a Persistent Vegetative State.
As opposed to brain death, persistent vegetative state (PVS) is not recognized by statute as death in any legal system. In the US and UK, courts have required petitions before termination of life support that demonstrate that any recovery of cognitive functions above a vegetative state is assessed as impossible by authoritative medical opinion

Signs and symptoms

Most PVS patients are unresponsive to external stimuli and their conditions are associated with different levels of consciousness. Some level of consciousness means a person can still respond, in varying degrees, to stimulation. A person in a coma, however, cannot. In addition, PVS patients often open their eyes in response to feeding, which has to be done by others; they are capable of swallowing, whereas patients in a coma subsist with their eyes closed

PVS patients' eyes might be in a relatively fixed position, or track moving objects, or move in a disconjugate (i.e. completely unsynchronized) manner. They may experience sleep-wake cycles, or be in a state of chronic wakefulness. They may exhibit some behaviors that can be construed as arising from partial consciousness, such as grinding their teeth, swallowing, smiling, shedding tears, grunting, moaning, or screaming without any apparent external stimulus.
Individuals in PVS are seldom on any life-sustaining equipment other than a feeding tube because the brainstem, the center of vegetative functions (such as heart rate and rhythm, respiration, and gastrointestinal activity) is relatively intact


Despite converging agreement about the definition of persistent vegetative state, recent reports have raised concerns about the accuracy of diagnosis in some patients, and the extent to which, in a selection of cases, residual cognitive functions may remain undetected and patients are diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. Objective assessment of residual cognitive function can be extremely difficult as motor responses may be minimal, inconsistent, and difficult to document in many patients, or may be undetectable in others because no cognitive output is possible (Owen et al., 2002). In recent years, a number of studies have demonstrated an important role for functional neuroimaging in the identification of residual cognitive function in persistent vegetative state; this technology is providing new insights into cerebral activity in patients with severe brain damage. Such studies, when successful, may be particularly useful where there is concern about the accuracy of the diagnosis and the possibility that residual cognitive function has remained undetected

Researchers have begun to use functional neuroimaging studies to study implicit cognitive processing in patients with a clinical diagnosis of persistent vegetative state. Activations in response to sensory stimuli with positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and electrophysiological methods can provide information on the presence, degree, and location of any residual brain function. However, use of these techniques in people with severe brain damage is methodologically, clinically, and theoretically complex and needs careful quantitative analysis and interpretation.
PET studies have revealed preserved and consistent responses in predicted regions of auditory cortex in response to intelligible speech stimuli. Moreover, a preliminary fMRI examination revealed partially intact responses to semantically ambiguous stimuli, which are known to tap higher aspects of speech comprehension
Also, there is evidence of partially functional cerebral regions in catastrophically injured brains. To study five patients in PVS with different behavioral features, researchers employed PET, MRI and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses to sensory stimulation. In three of the five patients, co-registered PET/MRI correlate areas of relatively preserved brain metabolism with isolated fragments of behavior.


THESE TESTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO COME TO A FINAL DIAGNOSIS IN SUCH PATIENTSThe study of 65 patients, published in the British Medical Journal's BMJ Open, found 72% reported being happy, with just 7% wanting help to commit suicide.

 HAS ARUNA GOT -Locked-in syndrome:-

Locked-in syndrome is a condition in which a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes. Total locked-in syndrome is a version of locked-in syndrome where the eyes are paralyzed as well. It is the result of a brain stem lesion in which the ventral (anterior) part of the pons is damaged. 


Locked-in syndrome usually results in quadriplegia and the inability to speak in otherwise cognitively intact individuals. Those with locked-in syndrome may be able to communicate with others through coded messages by blinking or moving their eyes, which are often not affected by the paralysis. The symptoms are similar to those of sleep paralysis. Patients who have locked-in syndrome are conscious and aware with no loss of cognitive function. They can sometimes retain proprioception and sensation throughout their body. Some patients may have the ability to move certain facial muscles, most often some or all of the extraocular eye muscles. Individuals with locked-in syndrome lack coordination between breathing and voice.[7] This restricts them from producing voluntary sounds, even though the vocal cords themselves are not paralysed


Possible causes of locked-in syndrome include:


Assistive computer interface technologies, such as Dasher in combination with eye tracking may be used to help patients communicate. New direct brain interface mechanisms may provide future remedies.[10][11] Israeli scientists have reported that they have developed a technique that allows locked-in patients to communicate via sniffing.

It is extremely rare for any significant motor function to return. The majority of locked-in syndrome patients do not regain motor control, but devices are available to help patients communicate. Within the first four months after its onset, 90% of those with this condition die. However, some people with the condition continue to live much longer periods of time.



Jean-Dominique Bauby

Parisian journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke in December 1995, and, when he awoke 20 days later, he found that his body was almost completely paralyzed: he could control only his left eyelid. By blinking this eye, he slowly dictated one alphabetic character at a time and, in so doing, was able over a great deal of time to write his memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Two days after it was published in March 1997, Bauby died of pneumonia.[14] The 2007 film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a screen adaptation of Bauby's memoir. Jean-Dominique was instrumental in forming the Association du Locked-In Syndrome (ALIS) "Association du Locked In Syndrome". http://www.alis-asso.fr/ewb_pages/e/eng_alis.php.

 Julia Tavalaro

In 1966, Julia Tavalaro, then aged 32, suffered two strokes and a brain hemorrhage and was sent to Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island, New York. For six years, it was believed she was in a vegetative state. In 1972, a family member noticed her trying to smile after she heard a joke. After alerting doctors, a speech therapist, Arlene Kratt, discerned cognizance in her eye movements. Kratt and another therapist, Joyce Sabari, were eventually able to convince doctors that she was in a locked-in state. After learning to communicate with eye blinks in response to letters being pointed to on an alphabet board, she became a poet and author. Eventually, she gained the ability to move her head enough to touch a switch with her cheek, which operated a motorized wheelchair and a computer. She gained national attention in 1995 when the Los Angeles Times published her life story. It was republished by Newsday on Long Island and in other newspapers across the country. She died in 2003 at the age of 68.
Gary Griffin
Gary Griffin was a veteran of the United States Air Force who became immobile due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). He was later equipped with a device called the NeuroSwitch, which allows him to control a computer and communicate with his family. Sensors are attached to the skin over a patient's muscles, and signals are sent to an interface that translates the slightest muscle contractions into usable code. A video of Griffin and his use of the NeuroSwitch has been posted on YouTube.[16]

 Erik Ramsey

In 1999, 16-year-old Erik Ramsey suffered a stroke after a car accident that left him in a locked-in state. His story was profiled in an edition of Esquire magazine in 2008. Erik is currently working with doctors to develop a new communication system that uses a computer that, through implants in his brain, reads the electronic signals produced when he thinks certain words and sounds. At present, Erik is only able to communicate short and basic sounds. However, doctors believe that within a few years, Erik will be able to use this system to communicate words and phrases and, eventually, to "talk" normally.

 Rom Houben

In 1983, Rom Houben survived a near-fatal car crash and was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. Twenty-three years later, using "modern brain imaging techniques and equipment", doctors revised his diagnosis to locked-in syndrome.[18] He was initially reported as communicating by typing into a keyboard with his right hand,[19] though the presence of a facilitator to move his hand attracted sharp criticism and strong doubts that Houben's communications were authentic.
In early 2010, Dr. Steven Laureys, Houben's neurologist, admitted that subsequent tests had demonstrated that Houben had not actually been communicating via the facilitator, and Der Spiegel, which had originally "quoted" many of Houben's facilitated statements, retracted those quotes as being inauthentic. Laureys maintained that the MRI data that had led him to diagnose Houben as locked-in still suggested that he was conscious.
Houben's case had been thought to call into question the current methods of diagnosing vegetative state and arguments against withholding care from such patients.

Graham Miles

In 1993, Graham Miles, originally from Sanderstead, Surrey, suffered a stroke after which he could not move any part of his body except his eyes. His condition improved gradually until in 2010, he could walk with two sticks and drive a car.

 Cases in literature

 Johnny Got His Gun

The main character of Dalton Trumbo's novel Johnny Got His Gun is a soldier whose body is so badly damaged by a shell blast that he is essentially in locked-in syndrome (although the term had not been coined when the book was written). He eventually learns to communicate using Morse code by banging on the pillow with the back of his head. The song "One" by heavy metal band Metallica was based on the novel.


                     Most locked-in patients 'happy'
  Locked-in patients can communicate only with their eyes

Related Stories

The majority of people with locked-in syndrome are happy, a small French study suggests.
The disease "traps" people in their own body, able to think, but incapable of moving or talking.
The study of 65 patients, published in the British Medical Journal's BMJ Open, found 72% reported being happy, with just 7% wanting help to commit suicide.
Experts said it showed it would be unwise to make assumptions about people's mental state.
The findings could also have implications on the assisted suicide debate, the researchers said.
However, they warned that there could be some bias in the study with the most unhappy patients refusing to take part.

The participants, from the French Association for Locked in Syndrome, responded by blinking or moving their eyes.

Locked in Syndrome

  • Condition in which patient is mute and totally paralysed, except for eye movements, but remains conscious
  • Usually results from massive haemorrhage or other damage, affecting upper part of brain stem, which destroys almost all motor function, but leaves the higher mental functions intact
About half of those questioned, 55%, had recovered some speech and 70% had recovered some limb movement.
The majority, 72%, said they were happy and 68% said they never had suicidal thoughts.
The longer people were locked-in, the more likely they were to be happy.
Researchers at the University of Liège, Belgium, said: "We suggest that patients recently struck by the syndrome should be informed that, given proper care, they have a considerable chance of regaining a happy life.
"In our view, shortening of life requests are valid only when the patients have been give a chance to attain a steady state of subjective wellbeing."
Dr Adrian Owen, from the Centre for the Brain and Mind at the University of Western Ontario, said: "This is an extremely important study with a clear message - we cannot, and should not, presume to know what it must be like to be in one of these conditions.
"I think most of us feel that life in a lifeless body would not be a life worth living, but this study demonstrates that this is not always the case.
"On the basis of the results, it would be unwise for us to make assumptions about the mental state of those individuals."

                                  3 March 2011 Last updated at 11:47 GMT

   Locked-in Blackpool FC coach's family                     'hopeful'

Gary Parkinson 
  Gary Parkinson played for Preston, Burnley and Blackpool

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The family of Blackpool football coach Gary Parkinson, who is suffering from locked-in syndrome, say they are hopeful he will recover.
Mr Parkinson, 42, has been unable to move, speak or swallow since he suffered a stroke in September last year.
His wife, Deborah, said they had been boosted by good news from his doctors.
She explained: "We've been told that Gary probably will make sounds and speak again."
"Let's hope one day he will be able to speak to us again," she said.
The school-teacher, who has three children with the former Preston, Burnley and Blackpool footballer, said: "We're trying to look at the positives.
"He's always has been a fighter, always given 110% and I don't doubt for one minute that will change."
She recalled there was no warning signs leading up to his stroke.
"He'd been to work as normal that day, came home in good spirits and we had friends round. He was planning his next day at work and was quite upbeat... then off he went to bed.
"Gary woke up with a severe headache and he hasn't really spoken to us since that day back in September."

“Start Quote

He described it as being on the waltzers at the fair. He said, 'I feel like the whole house is spinning round'”
End Quote Deborah Parkinson
Mrs Parkinson continued: "I was getting ready for work the next morning and he woke and said he had a real heavy headache; a strange headache.
"He described it as being on the waltzers at the fair. He said, 'I feel like the whole house is spinning round'."
She called an ambulance and he was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital. Within 24 hours, Mrs Parkinson said he was in a coma and was put on a ventilator.
"Two days later we were told he had a brain stem stroke and it had resulted in the locked-in syndrome and left him completely paralysed apart from his eyes blinking," she said.


  • Although paralysed, patients with locked-in syndrome can be fully aware of what is going on around them
  • Many do not recover from the condition which can cause pneumonia and thrombosis and lead to the patient's death, often within the first four months
Mrs Parkinson said the family were "coping really well" thanks to the "tremendous support" they had received from friends.
Mr Parkinson began his career at Everton in 1985 before moving to Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers prior to stints at Lancashire clubs.
He scored the winning goal in Burnley's division two play-off against Stockport in 1994.
As well as coaching at Bloomfield Road, he also did football commentary for BBC Radio Lancashire.

Scans show surprising differences in brain-injury patients

New imaging study is shedding light on consciousness in the unresponsive.

By LiveScienceMon, Mar 07 2011 at 4:46 PM 

Brain scan Photo: Akira Ohgaki/Flickr
Scanning the mental activity of people with brain injuries is showing scientists that not all patients with the same condition should be treated the same way. Some patients may have higher cognitive function than their responses to doctors indicate, and some may have lower, according to a new study.

"We have to abandon the idea that we can rely on a bedside exam in our assessment of some severe brain injuries," researcher Nicholas Schiff, of Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a statement. [How Does the Brain Work?]
Schiff and other researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to test a spectrum of brain-injured patients — including those whose bedside tests showed them to be in a minimally conscious state; those who showed a limited ability to communicate by voice and gesture; and those suffering from "locked-in" syndrome, unable to move despite normal cognitive function. (Unlike paralysis, these patients can't even move their eyes or head as a result of injury to the brain, not spinal cord.)
The researchers gave the participants a specific pair of commands —  "Imagine swimming. … Now stop" — while their brains were being scanned. For those whose brain scans showed certain activity, suggesting they had been able to follow the commands, the researchers continued to scan their brain activity as they followed up with yes/no or multiple-choice questions.
Surprisingly, some of the patients able to communicate verbally or through gestures had trouble following the visual imagery command "Imagine swimming." Others who had no ability to communicate did well on the imagery test, suggesting they have more cognitive function than previously thought.
"This is a reality check, in essence, because there is a wide range of cognitive abilities in these patients, and the implications on the extreme ends of the spectrum are important," Schiff said. "Not all minimally conscious patients are the same, and not all patients with locked-in syndrome are the same."
Schiff urged people not to read too much into these preliminary studies of these patients' abilities to communicate.
"Although everyone wants to use a tool like this, fMRI is not yet capable of making clear measurements of cognitive performance," he said in a statement. "There will be a range of possible responses reflecting different capabilities in these patients that we have to further explore and understand."
Larger, multicenter trials of the imagery test are planned to better understand the mental abilities of these brain-injured patients.

Family of Burnley hero Parky staying positive

The study was published in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Brain.

THE wife of former Burnley star Gary Parkinson, who is suffering from locked-in syndrome, has described how he can blink to communicate.
Gary, 43, has been left paralysed following a major stroke at the family home in Bolton last September.
Doctors are set to use an electronic system to help Gary communicate, where he can use infra-red to write words to his family.
Deborah said the family and Gary were continuing to be positive.
She said: “Gary has always been a fighter and given 110 per cent and I don't doubt for one minute that that will change.
“He can communicate, he moves his eyes up and down, blinks up for yes and down for no and he's quite good at that.
“They've given us some positives but nobody really knows. They don't have a magic wand to say this is going to happen, this is what we do and that is what the outcome will be. It's a little bit unknown locked-in syndrome, it needs a lot more research.
“It's not impossible to recover, it's been done before so why can't Gary do it?”
Now, she has been given hope by Kate Allatt, from Sheffield, who has made a remarkable recovery from the illness and is planning to meet her to talk about Gary.
She said: “I've been in touch with Kate who survived and had exactly the same as Gary, similar age, similar family background, she was a runner and quite a fit woman.
“It will be great to ask her exactly how Gary feels, she's been there and knows what it is like.”
Gary made over 130 appearances for Burnley and is best remembered for his winning goal at Wembley in the 1994 Division Two play-off final.
Deborah will making the half-time draw at Turf Moor today when Burnley face Crystal Palace and a tribute dinner in aid of Gary will be held at Turf Moor tomorrow at 5pm.

Bedside exam unreliable in assessing severe brain injuries: Study

 Scientists say that using a sophisticated imaging test to probe for higher-level cognitive functioning in severely brain-injured patients provides a window into consciousness-but the view it presents is one that is blurred in fascinating ways.
In a novel study of six patients ranging in their function from minimally conscious state to the locked-in syndrome (normal cognitive function with severe motor impairment), the researchers looked at how the brains of these patients respond to a set of commands and questions while being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
They found there was a wide, and largely unpredictable, variation in the ability of patients to respond to a simple command and then using that same command to answer simple yes/no or multiple-choice questions. This variation was apparent when compared with their ability to interact at the bedside using voice or gesture.
Some patients unable to communicate by gestures or voice were unable to do the mental tests,
while others unable to communicate by gestures or voice were intermittently able to answer the researchers' questions using mental imagery. And, intriguingly, some patients with the ability to communicate through gestures or voice were unable to do the mental tasks.



Severely disabled mother wins visitation rights

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 26, 2011 -- Updated 0220 GMT (1020 HKT)
Abbie Dorn lives with her parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Abbie Dorn lives with her parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
  • Brain-damaged woman can see her triplets five days each summer, judge rules
  • Judge also rules for a monthly Skype call
  • Abbie Dorn's parents, former husband disagree over her condition
Los Angeles (CNN) -- A California judge ruled Friday that a woman who suffered severe brain damage during the birth of her triplets must be granted visitation rights to see them.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Frederick C. Shaller rejected the contention of Abbie Dorn's former husband that it is not in his children's best interest to see their "unfit" mother now.
Shaller said in his temporary order that Dorn, who lives with her parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, must be able to see the triplets, who turn 5 in June, over five consecutive days each summer. The order also provides for a monthly online visit via Skype.
"This is a precedent-setting case," said attorney Lisa Helfend Meyer, who represented Dorn's parents. "This is only a win-win for everybody."
The ruling is technically considered temporary, pending a full trial in the case.
Abbie Dorn suffered severe brain damage during childbirth in 2006.
Her parents and former husband, Daniel Dorn, become locked in a legal battle over whether Abbie is capable of interacting with her children, and whether they should visit her.
Daniel Dorn stated in court documents he wants the children to see their mother when they are older, perhaps 6 or 7 -- if he receives medical evidence that she will be able to communicate with them.
But Shaller ruled Friday that Abbie Dorn poses no threat to the children and smiles at times.
After a visit the children made to South Carolina, Daniel Dorn gave them a photo of their mother.
"They held onto the photograph for a prolonged time," the judge wrote. "It appears that even though the children were with their mother only a short period of time, they bonded with her."
Disabled woman's child visitation fight
Abbie Dorn had contact with triplets Esti, Reuvi and Yossi in December 2010. They visited her a total of four times that week. Before that week, she was last with them in October 2007.
Paul and Susan Cohen, a physician and former nurse, are conservators of Abbie Dorn's estate and care for their daughter full time at their home in South Carolina.
Susan Cohen told CNN last year that her daughter has made considerable progress after intensive rehabilitation and now communicates by blinking her eyes.
"One slow blink means 'yes.' No response means 'no,'" said Cohen, adding that her daughter smiled Friday when hearing the judge's decision.
Daniel Dorn, who lives in Los Angeles with the children, maintains that his former wife remains in a vegetative state. She is more than physically disabled, he contended in court papers, she is "neurologically incapacitated" and legally incompetent to make decisions involving her children.
Visiting brain-damaged mom: A collision of instincts
Shaller ruled that Daniel Dorn be granted sole custody of the triplets and must be present during the visits. The former husband also must place photographs of Abbie in his home so that the children can see them, the judge ruled.
"The court finds that even though Abbie cannot interact with the children, the children can interact with Abbie -- and that the interaction is beneficial for the children," Shaller ruled. "They can touch her, see her, bond with her, and can carry these memories with them."
With his wife's parents overseeing her medical care, Daniel Dorn found himself a young father raising triplets. He believed Abbie's prospects of recovery were faint. One year to the day after the triplets were born, he notified the Cohens that he was ready to move on.
"I still love Abbie very much, but I am trying to move on and have been and will continue to parent our children, who are happy and are thriving," Dorn told CNN in an e-mail last year.
At Dorn's request, the Cohens initiated divorce proceedings on Abbie's behalf. The divorce was finalized in the fall of 2008.

Doctors talk to people in coma using brain waves

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