Faculty from the Department of Neurology at Liege University Hospital are now reporting that subsequent controlled studies have failed to confirm the initial findings.
Dr Steven Laureys, one of the doctors treating him, acknowledged that his patient could not make himself understood after all. Facilitated communication, the technique said to have made Houben's apparent contact with the outside world possible, did not work, Laureys declared. "We did not have all the facts before," he said. "To me, it's enough to say that this method doesn't work."
In the recent studies a facilitator, who helped the patient type answers on a computer screen, was not present when the test objects and words were presented to Mr. Houben.
Links at NPR and The Guardian.
Previously on Neatorama: Is This Man Fully Alert and Communicating - or Not? (with video of facilitated communication). Photo credit AFP/Getty Images.