In a Nov. 12 article in The Daily Standard (webzine of The Weekly Standard), Wesley J. Smith writes, "Most of the time, we never know for sure what a starved or dehydrated person experiences. But in at least one case - that of a young woman who had her feeding tube removed for eight days and lived to tell the tale - we have direct evidence of the agony that forced dehydration may cause.

"At age 33, Kate Adamson collapsed from a devastating and incapacitating stroke. She was utterly unresponsive and was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). At the urging of doctors, who believed she would never get better, her nourishment was stopped. But midway through the dehydration process, she began to show subtle signs of comprehension, so her food and water were restored.

Adamson eventually recovered sufficiently to author Kate's Journey: Triumph Over Adversity, in which she tells the terrifying tale. Rather than being unconscious with no chance of recovery as her doctors believed, she was actually awake and aware but unable to move any part of her body voluntarily. (This is known as a "locked-in state.")

In a recent TV appearance Adamson explained, "When the feeding tube was turned off for eight days, I thought I was going insane. I was screaming out in my mind, "Don't you know I need to eat?" And even up until that point, I had been having a bagful of Ensure as my nourishment that was going through the feeding tube. At that point, it sounded pretty good. I just wanted something. The fact that I had nothing, the hunger pains overrode every thought I had