Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

I think the media is in a coma

I saw these news blurbs about a man in Belgium who allegedly was awake for 23 years although the doctors thought he was in a coma. This story brought so many thoughts ot my head I though I would try to get them down.

  • I have a living will that tells my loved ones to pull the plug if I go in a vegetative state
  • I think we are going to see more and more stories about medicine going wrong in countries with socialized health care
  • This sort of thing give more inflated, uncouched ammunition to CAM practitioners
  • I'm not convinced that this guy is actually saying anything.

Living Wills and Vegetative states
I am an engineer, not only by trade but "by life". When I see things that are cool I want to know how they work. But more importantly, I get an large amount of joy when I build something, write something, or perform something. I love life, I love my abilities and to use them (even if I bitch and moan sometimes during the process). My biggest fear in life, is to come out of a long coma, which unlike in the movies, people do not come out of the same way they went into. It is crippling. You only need to look at the video above.

It's not like losing a hand, or an eye. I could probably deal with that (both hands would be extremely debilitating to me though). Its an all over muscular loss. I simply do not want to live like that. And no, hearing about the one or two people who not only come out of a long coma but also regain mobility and speech does not provide any comfort to me when that is the extreme exception.

Socialized Medicine
We've already seen it from Fox in some respect when they did some ridiculous reporting about how The Netherlands are in a state of anarchy, reveling in a mire of smut and drugs, implying that this is what we can expect if those damn liberals get in charge. I expect we will see more and more of isolated cases where medicine went wrong (as if that has anything to do with how the medicine is paid for) on the news as we move towards, you know, a new healthcare system that is also not socialized.

Strengthening CAM
I also bet we are going to see cases like this used to strengthen the canard of "Doctors don't know everything". You see, the "logic" goes like this, if doctors screw up somewhere on the planet, then homeopathy works. Isn't that clear as day? Take a look over at NaturalNews or HuffPo in the next few days, I have little doubt that this case will be made.

Is he really writing?
Before I actually read any of the articles about this case, I saw a few tweets from Michael Shermer.

So, I thought "What is Michael yammering on about?" So I saw the video above. What the hell? Is everyone credulous? Would it have been so offensive or so unethical to actually put some headphones on the woman moving that mans hand so we could determine if this is real or not.

I'm not saying that the guy is not awake, I'm not saying he didn't suffer for 23 years. I'm not a doctor, I didn't diagnose him, I haven't seen any of the data suggesting he is not in a coma. I'm saying that it's bullshit that he is typing out these words, that fast. Isn't it just as unethical to force words down his throat in the form of typing things he may not actually be saying?

I do wish some modicum of skepticism would enter the media the first time, and not at the end of weeks of hype.

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