|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2007)|
"Rautavaara's Case" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. It was first published in 1980 in Omni magazine and subsequently in the 1985 short story collection I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon. The story was also included on We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, volume five of the Collected Short Stories of Philip K Dick in 2003.
The story is about Agneta Rautavaara, a young Finnish technician, who dies in an accident while working on a space vessel with two other technicians. However, a rescue team from Proxima Centauri gets there in time to save Rautavaara's brain and impose artificial life support on it. In her damaged brain, Rautavaara goes through a series of experiences that draw on the conceptions of afterlife held by herself on the one hand and the Proxima Centauri natives on the other.
A theme of the story is whether it is ethically right to keep a human on life-support if they exist only as a mind, with their body paralyzed or otherwise destroyed.