Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bodiless head and headless body

The neck of Maggie (Hilary Swank) is accidentally broken

Bodiless head
There are real people who have suffered the fate described in the fictional movie Million Dollar Baby. Following an accidental fall in boxing ring, from horseback or other severe accident the neck is broken in such a manner that spinal cord is severed from the brain.

Such a person has completely normal brain activity and is able to think and see and hear and possibly also to communicate in some way. But he or she is totally unable to communicate with the body and also needs medical machinery and dedicated care to stay alive.

Headless body
Modern medicine is so advanced that it is possible to maintain life in human body even if the person is what is called "brain dead".

On 4 January 2006 former PM of Israel, Ariel Sharon, was hit by a cerebral hemorrhage as blood vessel burst in his head. The consequent bleeding inside the ehad damaged his brain. Today, six years after the accident he is alive but comatose as there is apparently no brain activity at all. This miracle is made possible by machines that are working day and night to keep the body functioning.

Both these extreme cases are consequences of advances in modern medical science. In the past both the 100% paralysed person and the brain dead would have died natural death.

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