Dalrymple writes at Pajamas Media on a new study that shows that “an unknown but large proportion of people in a persistent vegetative state [may] retain a higher level of consciousness than hitherto believed”, but this may or may not mean that these patients enjoy a life worth living:
We are always, then, acting to some extent in the dark, not only because we are imperfectly informed and there are things that we do not know (such as the thoughts and feelings, if any, of patients in a persistent vegetative state), but because not all things are commensurable even if known. As Hippocrates put it quite a long time ago, judgment is difficult.
Here is a new debate involving Theodore Darlymple:
Thank you for the link, that was interesting, not least the bit about TD’s supposed lack of history and comparison (between countires) and the suggestion that his books don’t merit publication beyond Britain (if there even).
It reminds me of another interview that was on youtube (Dutch I think) on the issue of solutions the interviewer asked what can be done and TD offers the idea of being more mindful, to which response was something like incredulity “Mindful? …and that’s it?”
I thought that was funny and telling, depending on you idea of mindful, for me anyway, it would go a long way but it’s not in the idiom of political machinery – legislation, bureaucracy, social engineering- it’s about a vast amorphous web of history incarnate or manifest in daily life, the like of which TD writes so well about, Shakespeare being the obvious example.
The man debating TD (above link) if he were a publisher would deprive people of such historically rich insight, but for their own good of course.
I like this:
‘You sound like a professional politician.’
Unlike the good doctor who sounds like an amateur politician.