A persistent vegetative state is a disorder of consciousness in which patients with severe brain damage are in a state of partial arousal rather than true awareness.
Arousal is the physiological and psychological state of being awoken or of sense organs stimulated to a point of perception.
Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.
Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events.
Vegetative state man uses thought to say he's in no pain by The Christian Institute
After four weeks in a vegetative state, the patient is classified as in a persistent vegetative state.
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This diagnosis is classified as a permanent vegetative state some months after a non-traumatic brain injury or one year after a traumatic injury.
Traumatic brain injury, also known as intracranial injury, occurs when an external force injures the brain.
Nowadays, more doctors and neuroscientists prefer to call the state of consciousness an unresponsive wakefulness syndrome, primarily because of ethical questions about whether a patient can be called "vegetative" or not.