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Exploring medically induced coma

An interesting interview appeared in the New York Times, February 28, 2011 called: “Call It a Reversible Coma, Not Sleep.” In the article, Dr. Emery Neal Brown, is a professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School, a professor of computational neuroscience at M.I.T. and a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The study of the brain and consciousness near death is one of the areas of research that the Horizon Foundation explores.  It is additionally fascinating to include the state of consciousness during medically induced-coma (via anesthesia). Dr. Brown states:

 “It’s a reversible drug-induced coma, to simplify. As with a coma that’s the result of a brain injury, the patient is unconscious, insensitive to pain, cannot move or remember. However, with anesthesia, once the drugs wear off, the coma wears off.”

When a patient is in a medically induced coma, what happens to the consciousness or the “I am” of the individual?

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