Bogus Facilitated Communication

In November, there was a well publicized news story that told of a man stuck in a coma for 23 years who began to communicate with his doctors. The stellar journalistic tome that is the Daily Mail gave the story the headline of “Man trapped in 23-year ‘coma’ reveals horror of being unable to tell doctors he was conscious“.

Oddly enough, in the entire length of the story, then never once reveal how he “talked” with doctors, alluding to some miracle computer system that allowed him to chat freely with the outside world. He had another tool they never mentions: a Facilitated communicator. This story corrects the error. The patient had never communicated.

Nobody wants anybody to be stuck in a coma forever , but what we really don’t want is to be lied to. If they story had been true, it would have been great. But, what we have is a John Edwards type charlatans, whether they knew it, or were convincing themselves they could do it. Double Blind testing is a must and is the very foundation of science.

The coma “miracle recovery” crowd is much like vaccination deniers: they are both so commited to proving their point, that they have lost sight of their goal, to find a solution. They instead spend all their time trying to convince themselves they are right, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Yes, we do need to know as much as we can about an individual’s state before we make decisions about their lives, but lying about it is about as wrong as anyone can get.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Beliefs and Superstitions, urban legends

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One Comment on “Bogus Facilitated Communication”


  1. The article never says what actually happened.They make it clear that it’s not that the doctor was lying, he was mistaken. And they never say the intermediary was lying either. So what did happen?


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