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Fred Plum
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    (January 10, 1924-June 11, 2010)
    Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey
    Named chief of neurology at the University of Washington in 1953 (at age 29 - youngest such chief at the time)
    Later a university professor and chairman of the department of neurology at Weill Cornell Medical School and New York-Presbyterian Hospital
    Developed the terms 'persistent vegetative state' and 'locked-in syndrome' to describe coma patient conditions
    Died of Alzheimer’s-like disease primary progressive aphasia in Manhattan at age 86
    His persistent vegetative state term was not his alone - he shared it with Glasgow neurosurgeon Dr. Byron Jennett while developing the Glasgow Coma Scale.
    Both terms are just fancy ways of describing symptoms - one is a patient who looks conscious but is unconscious, the other is a patient who looks unconscious but is conscious.
    He divorced the mother of his children.
    He ironically died in a hospice of a brain disease.
    His father lost a chain of drug stores during the Depression and died when he was just 8-years-old.
    As a teen, he decided to become a neurologist after his sister, Christine, died from poliomyelitis.
    He championed coma understanding before CAT scans and MRI machines were developed.
    He testimony helped with the decision to remove Karen Ann Quinlan from life support as her parents claimed it's what she would have wanted.
    He treated former President Richard Nixon during his final days to insure control over the course of his decisions and medical needs.
    He was a strong advocate for living wills and patients right to die if reasonable hope had been exhausted.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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