What would you say if you had been in a vegetative state for 12 years? 

39-year-old Scott Routley has been able to communicate to doctors that he is not in any pain, marking the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-damaged patient has been able to give direct answers regarding their care and treatment.

The communication was done with doctors who are monitoring his brain activity through Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans. 

Traditional tests have continued to indicate that Routley is in a vegetative state, with no relevant brain activity. Owen and other doctors say this means medical text books will literally need to be re-written when it comes to evaluating patients suffering from severe brain injuries.

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Vegetative man tells doctors ‘I’m not in pain’ via MRI communication - Yahoo News, BBC