Text Size
Smaller
Bigger
Euthanasisa

Study Finds that a Majority of ‘Locked In Syndrome’ Paralysis Patients Are Happy

Comments (1)
posted 10:03 PM EST, Tue March 08, 2011

People with locked in syndrome paralysis are mentally aware but unable to move anything in their bodies, with the exception of their eyes. Although it’s difficult to imagine living a satisfying life under such difficult conditions, a new study shows that an overwhelming number of patients with the disorder say they’re happy. People who have had the condition for a longer period of time were more likely to report happiness, which raises points for discussion in any debate about the validity of euthanasia.

Researchers at The University Hospital of Liege in Belgium conducted interviews with 65 members of the French Locked In Syndrome Association to learn more about what it’s like to live with near total paralysis.

Surprisingly, happiness is what they found amongst the 65 paralyzed men and women surveyed – with 47 of these reporting happiness and only a few of the members reporting having suicidal thoughts.

Surveys were conducted by caregivers, with patients responding to yes or no questions by blinking.

Coma expert and lead researcher Dr. Steven Laureys commented on the findings, saying, "That some locked-in syndrome patients self-report happiness may suggest they have succeeded in adapting to their condition of extreme disability.” He notes that people who had been paralyzed for longer periods of time were more likely to report happiness than newer victims of paralysis (most cases of locked in syndrome are caused by traumatic brain injury) and that because of this, newly locked-in paralyzed patients should be required to spend a significant period of time living with their condition before doctors would consider granting requests for euthanasia.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category
Story Highlights
  • Euthanasia: A new study which reveals that most 'locked in syndrome' paralysis patients stay happy over time, though they may experience depression initially after traumatic injury, raises real questions about euthanasia.
Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Information
Suicide Risk Assessment Self-Test
Suicide Risk Assessment: The SBQ-R Test © Taylor Dawn Fortune
Protect yourself and those you love - Take this 4 item suicide behaviors questionnaire and find out if you’re considered ‘at risk’ to commit suicide. Read Article
Couples Counseling - Differing Intimacy Needs
Couples Counseling – Dealing with Differing Intimacy Needs © B Tal
What do we do when our needs for intimacy are different? One person needs more cuddling. The other wants more sex. One person wants more talking time. The other wants more kisses. Read Article
Couples Counseling February 08, 2013
Teen Suicide - Risk Factors & Warning Signs
Teen Suicide Risk Factors and Warning Signs © Ashley Rose
Teens with depression and other mental illnesses or those that abuse drugs or alcohol are at a greatly elevated risk for suicide. Learn the risk factors and warning signs of this preventable tragedy. Read Article
Depression Treatment June 29, 2009 (1)
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.