Wannabe Medics

The disease “traps” people in their own body, able to think, but incapable of moving or talking.

The study of 65 patients, published in the British Medical Journal’s BMJ Open, found 72% reported being happy, with just 7% wanting help to commit suicide.

Experts said it showed it would be unwise to make assumptions about people’s mental state.

However, they warned that there could be some bias in the study with the most unhappy patients refusing to take part.

The participants, from the French Association for Locked in Syndrome, responded by blinking or moving their eyes.

The majority, 72%, said they were happy and 68% said they never had suicidal thoughts.

The longer people were locked-in, the more likely they were to be happy.

Researchers at the University of Liège, Belgium, said: “We suggest that patients recently struck by the syndrome should be informed that, given proper care, they have a considerable chance of regaining a happy life.

"In our view, shortening of life requests are valid only when the patients have been give a chance to attain a steady state of subjective wellbeing."