Unlocking the Voices of Patients with Severe Brain Injury

Neuroethics 15 (1):1-15 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper critically examines whether patients with severe brain injury, who can only communicate through assistive neuroimaging technologies, may permissibly participate in medical decisions. We examine this issue in the context of a unique case study from the Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario. First, we describe how the standard approach to medical decision making might problematically exclude patients with communication impairments secondary to severe brain injury. Second, we present a modified approach to medical decision making. We argue that this approach might warrant the inclusion of some patients with severe brain injury in low-stakes decisions, or to express preferences. Third, we present a model of supported decision making to address recalcitrant uncertainty. We conclude by suggesting that the modified approach to decision making and supported decision making might allow a patient with severe brain injury to participate in some medical decisions. Our analysis is provisional and has not yet been implemented in practice. Our discussion is intended to generate further debate on approaches to enhancing autonomy in patients with profound motor and cognitive impairments.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,479

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Precedent Autonomy and Surrogate Decisionmaking After Severe Brain Injury.Mackenzie Graham - 2020 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 29 (4):511-526.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Covert awareness, and brain iniury.Adrian M. Owen - 2011 - In Judy Illes & Barbara J. Sahakian (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 135.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-02-11

Downloads
6 (#1,106,014)

6 months
5 (#155,590)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?