This case study is indeed a promising step for the treatment of comatose patients (though as it's only a single case, we can't assume the same procedure will work on anyone else). But the larger questions raised by the results of these and similar findings are an ethical, philosophical quagmire for future scientists and medical practitioners. Defining consciousness—and determining how to evaluate it—is a difficult, perhaps even impossible endeavor. But it’s also crucial. If we don’t know where a conscious life begins and ends, we can’t know how to protect or save it. And we can't truly know when it's time to let it go.