Your November 24 edition (of "All Things Considered") featured the story of a man who came out of a seemingly unconscious state after twenty-three years--only to report that he was aware of his surroundings during this time. His condition was referred to as a "persistent vegetative state." While this is a medical term, it is erroneous philosophically. No human being can be in a vegetative state, since no human being is ever a vegetable. Humans should always be treated as humans, and never as vegetation.
Doug is the co-editor (with another friend of mine, Jim Sennett) of an outstanding volume, In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-humean Assessment (InterVarsity Press, 2005)