Most people enter a period of unresponsiveness in the final hours before an expected, natural death.


The University of British Columbia released a study that measured electrical activity in the brain via EEGs of healthy control patients, hospice patients when conscious, and the same hospice patients when they became unresponsive. 


Along with the observations of the Phyicians and Nurses, the results proved:

– That the brain activity supported that a dying patient most likely can hear.

– Patients appeared comforted by the sounds of their loved ones (both in person and by phone).

– The value of verbal interactions is measurable and positive, even if awareness of sound cannot be communicated due to loss of motor responses.


“Our data shows that a dying brain can respond to sound, even in an unconscious state, up to the last hours of life.” says Elizabeth Blundon, psychology PhD student at the time of the study.


Keep talking to your loved one and including them in conversations, even if you aren’t sure if they can hear you.