Sunday, December 18, 2005

Where does one conscience go under anesthesia?

I was recently asked by a reader (weird to say that... thanks for reading)"Where does one's conscience go when you put someone under?" It's not a question easily answered. One that scholars and theologians probably as well have tried to answer for millenia.

First of all not to nitpick but you probably mean consciousness, meaning sense of one's personal or collective identity, rather than conscience, meaning source of moral or ethical judgement. I only clarify this not to be a jerk, but to make sure we are on the same page.

I don't know if there's really a right answer to this question... First. Is this is the same quesion as "Where does one's consciousness go when I sleep?" Probably in my opinion. Anesthesia is induced sleep (more or less... i can give you a more techically specific definition but that will just be cumbersome in this metaphysical question)

Most would say one's consciousness is just supressed while you sleep or are under anesthesia... it's there but it's unable to express itself or take in new information.

More religious people would say it's there watching over you. A "soul" if you will.

Which is right? I don't know. Is there another alternative? I think the best thing would be to leave it comments and see what people have to say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for answering my question to the best of your ability. actually, to the best of your beliefs is more like it. yes, i did mean consciesness, not conscience. i wasn't clear but glad you got it.