Guardianship and Clinical Research Participation: The Case of Wards with Disorders of Consciousness

Abstract
Incapacitated adults with a legally appointed guardian or conservator may be recruited for or involved with medical, behavioral, or social science research. Much of the research in which such persons participate is aimed at evaluating medical interventions for them, or contributing to general knowledge about disorders from which they may suffer. In this paper we will consider how the appointment of guardians for patients with disorders of consciousness —severe brain injuries that affect a patient’s level of arousal and ability to interact —impacts such patients’ access to research.Such persons may be under guardianship because they have lost decisional capacity (i.e., those in a coma or...
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DOI 10.1353/ken.2017.0003
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