Monday, 22 February 2010

Rom's F/C shown not to work.

I suppose I'm one of those awful sceptics that people frown at. The serious sort who are no fun to be around. The ones that tell you there's no ghost, just some creaky plumbing and an old log house. Or that's how people often frame it. Truth be told, I wish there was magical cures, ESP, and all that. It sure would make life better, wouldn't it?

I have the same mixed feelings about the story of the Belgian who used Facilitated Communication to allegedly talk, after being in a coma for 23 years. Briefly, a doctor argued that he's not in a coma, but fully awake and aware based on fMRI findings (And we know what my opinion of fMRI is...). He then was paired with a Facilitated Communication therapist who moved his finger from key to key, allegedly allowing him to talk. However, when they tested it, the doctor found the patient couldn't tell him anything the FC therapist didn't know.

The Guardian would have you believe that people like me are crowing over this. I'm not. The family has been through a hell of a lot, and now they've been kicked yet again. It's entirely possible that the FC therapist thinks what she was doing was legitimate. They often do - it exploits subconscious effects, not unlike the Ouija board. She, too, has probably had the rug yanked out from under her.

The only moral of the story I can find here is that a slow, methodical approach, while unsatisfying to families, is the best way to go. I can't think of any silver lining for the family, who have obviously been through enough.

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