Public Release: 

Definition of persistent vegetative state available from American Academy of Neurology

American Academy of Neurology

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has received many inquiries from the press regarding the definition of persistent vegetative state in light of the Terri Schiavo case. In 1995 the AAN published a practice parameter about the assessment and management of patients in the persistent vegetative state. This parameter includes definition and diagnosis information. It is publicly accessible at www.aan.com. The direct link opens as a .pdf file: http://www.aan.com/professionals/practice/pdfs/pdf_1995_thru_1998/1995.45.1015.pdf

The AAN Ethics, Law, and Humanities Committee (formerly known as Ethics and Humanities Subcommittee) published an approved position paper in 1989 about certain aspects of the care and management of patients in the persistent vegetative state. It can be directly opened as a .pdf file: http://www.aan.com/about/ethics/109556.pdf

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Established in 1948, the American Academy of Neurology is an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.

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