J Med Ethics 21:205-208 doi:10.1136/jme.21.4.205
  • Research Article

The proof of the vegetable: a commentary on medical futility.

  1. C Borthwick
  1. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Australia.


      Patients with 'persistent vegetative state' (PVS) are often cited in the discussions of ethicists as examples of human beings who are unconscious and do not experience life, and a number of theoretical and practical recommendations have been made on that basis. This article examines the evidence and the theoretical rationale for the belief that people with PVS are unconscious and finds them wanting. This conclusion is related to the practice of the discipline of ethics.

      Free sample
      This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of JME.
      View free sample issue >>

      Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

      Navigate This Article