Intended for healthcare professionals

Clinical Review

The patient's journey: Living with locked-in syndrome

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7508.94 (Published 07 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:94

Life is a locked-in syndrome

The locked-in syndrome is more than just a brainstem stroke with
quadriplegia. The suffering and courage of locked-in patients has captured the
public’s imagination, because we can all identify with such patients. We realize
intuitively that the locked-in syndrome is a metaphor for the loneliness,
helplessness, and hopelessness of life. With few exceptions, we are all “locked-
in” bad jobs, bad relationships, bad marriages, and bad financial, legal, or
health problems. Let’s dedicate ourselves to finding the key to opening all
locked-in states.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 August 2008
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA