Table 1

Illustrative case studies

“M”• Native American woman injured in an automobile accident.
• Did not respond to environmental stimulation; appeared comatose.
• Family performed a water ceremony to facilitate recovery.
• Caregivers learned she viewed non-Native Americans as her enemies, thus she used an altered state of consciousness to prevent response to caregivers.
“J”• Mexican migrant farm worker injured at work.
• Family lived in Mexico, and he only spoke and understood a rural Spanish dialect.
• He had no visitors; recovery was not progressing.
• When his father was able to visit, caregivers learned that “J” believed in traditional Mexican healing practices and was certain he would not recover without them.