[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 22, 1976

On Awakening Paralyzed During Surgery-Reply

JAMA. 1976;235(12):1211. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260380013010

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Reply.—  It is gratifying to have one's observations confirmed by the observations of colleagues. In my article I referred to the literature concerning awareness during surgery, and I attempted to demonstrate that in some instances this experience can have a profound and even lasting effect. Drs Silbergleit, Messer, and Archer, as well as Ms Michael, support this with clinical data. Dr Archer answers some of Dr Larson's objections quite well. I would add that I do not suggest that the dose of anesthesia was inadequate nor that the anesthesiologists were negligent. It goes without saying that the first consideration must be the preservation of the patient's life, and for this reason, as Dr Jobes points out, light levels are often necessary. Psychic distress is clearly a better choice than death, and I would prefer to try to patch up the psyche of a living patient than have him die