Title

Confronting the grey zone after severe brain injury

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2019

Journal

Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Volume

3

Issue

6

First Page

707

Last Page

711

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.1042/ETLS20190115

Abstract

In recent years, rapid technological developments in the field of neuroimaging have provided several new methods for revealing thoughts, actions and intentions based solely on the pattern of activity that is observed in the brain. In specialized centres, these methods are now being employed routinely to assess residual cognition, detect consciousness and even communicate with some behaviorally non-responsive patients who clinically appear to be comatose or in a vegetative state. In this article, we consider some of the ethical issues raised by these developments and the profound implications they have for clinical care, diagnosis, prognosis and medical-legal decision-making after severe brain injury.

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