David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Journal of Bioethics 8 (9):46 – 52 (2008)
Without exaggeration, it could be said that we are entering a golden age of neuroscience. Informed by recent developments in neuroimaging that allow us to peer into the working brain at both a structural and functional level, neuroscientists are beginning to untangle mechanisms of recovery after brain injury and grapple with age-old questions about brain and mind and their correlates neural mechanisms and consciousness. Neuroimaging, coupled with new diagnostic categories and assessment scales are helping us develop a new diagnostic nosology about disorders of consciousness which will likely improve prognostication and suggest therapeutic advances. Historically such diagnostic refinement has yield therapeutic advances in medicine and there is no reason to doubt that this will be the case for disorders of consciousness, perhaps bringing relief to a marginalized population now on the periphery of the therapeutic agenda. In spite of this promise, the translation of research findings into the clinical context will be difficult. As we move from descriptive categories about disorders of consciousness, like the vegetative or minimally conscious states, to ones further specified by integrating behavioral and neuroimaging findings, humility not hubris should be the virtue that guides the ethical conduct of research and practice.
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References found in this work BETA
Judy Illes & Eric Racine (2005). Imaging or Imagining? A Neuroethics Challenge Informed by Genetics. American Journal of Bioethics 5 (2):5 – 18.
Joseph T. Giacino & Childs N. Ashwal S. (2002). The Minimally Conscious State: Definition and Diagnostic Criteria. Neurology 58 (3):349-353.
Martha J. Farah & Paul Root Wolpe (2004). Monitoring and Manipulating Brain Function: New Neuroscience Technologies and Their Ethical Implications. Hastings Center Report 34 (3):35-45.
Joseph J. Fins (2008). A Leg to Stand On: Sir William Osler and Wilder Penfield's "Neuroethics". American Journal of Bioethics 8 (1):37 – 46.
Fritz Allhoff, Françoise Baylis, Richard Glen Boire, Christopher Buford, Tom Buller, Raymond DeVries, Hubert Doucet, Kathinka Evers, Joseph Fins & Ruth L. Fischbach (2005). First Page Preview. American Journal of Bioethics 5 (2).
Citations of this work BETA
S. van McCrary (2009). Transferring Emerging Neuroscience to the Clinical Ethics Bedside. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (9):21-23.
Joseph J. Fins & Judy Illes (2008). Lights, Camera, Inaction? Neuroimaging and Disorders of Consciousness. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (9):W1 – W3.
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