THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE / Her condition: Doctor explains the 'persistent vegetative state': "A person in a vegetative state is defined as one who is arousable -- which means merely a reflexive response to a stimulus -- but unaware. It is not necessary to wake up to be aroused. If a vegetative state exists for six weeks to three months, it is deemed a 'persistent' vegetative state.
A person in a persistent vegetative state is not in a coma. A person in a coma is unconscious, and unable to be aroused.
There is a similar distinction defining stupor. A person in a stupor shows some response to stimulation but will easily slip back into a state where he or she cannot be aroused.
Sleep, strictly defined, is a state of unconsciousness from which a person can be aroused. But there is another halfway state -- somnolence -- where a person can wake up enough to carry a brief conversation before falling back into sleep.
The strange limbo of people in vegetative states poses "
whew.. confusing stuff....
sometimes people i know are in these type of states when i see them in front of computers....