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Wake-up drug.

A woman in a vegetative state will be given a test drug which may wake her up, despite objections from her family who have been overruled by a court.

The unnamed 53-year-old will be given zolpidem which could make her conscious, but might leave her seriously disabled.

Her family do not want the test to go ahead, preferring to let her die. But Sir Mark Potter, president of the family division of the High Court, ruled against their wishes earlier this month. The drug proposal was put forward by Laurence Oates, the outgoing Official Solicitor, who suggested that zolpidem ( a sleeping pill ( be prescribed.

It is normally used to help insomnia but has been cited in cases where it has caused patients in a permanent vegetative state to wake up.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2006
Words:130
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