Document Detail

Observations on the ethical and social aspects of disorders of consciousness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21059536     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The care of chronically unconscious patients raises vexing medical, ethical, and social questions concerning diagnosis, prognosis, communication with family members, and decision making, including the withdrawal of life support. We provide updates on major controversies surrounding disorders of consciousness. Issues such as withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration - which had been considered "settled" by many in the medical, legal and ethical communities - have resurfaced under the pressure of social groups and religious authorities. Some assumptions about the level of awareness and the prognosis of vegetative state and minimal conscious patients are questioned by advances in clinical care because of insights produced by neuroscience research techniques, particularly functional neuroimaging. Both the clinical and neuroscience dimensions of disorders of consciousness raise complex issues such as resource allocation and high levels of diagnostic inaccuracies (at least, for the vegetative state). We conclude by highlighting areas needing further research and collaboration.
Eric Racine; Catherine Rodrigue; James L Bernat; Richard Riopelle; Sam D Shemie
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0317-1671     ISO Abbreviation:  Can J Neurol Sci     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-09     Completed Date:  2011-01-13     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0415227     Medline TA:  Can J Neurol Sci     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  758-68     Citation Subset:  IM    
Neuroethics Research Unit, Department of Medicine and Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Consciousness Disorders / classification,  therapy*
Ethics, Medical*
Life Support Care / ethics*
Persistent Vegetative State / physiopathology
Comment In:
Can J Neurol Sci. 2010 Nov;37(6):713   [PMID:  21059527 ]

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