Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 29 (4):501-510 (2020)
AbstractA growing number of studies show that a significant proportion of patients, who meet the clinical criteria for the diagnosis of the vegetative state, demonstrate evidence of covert awareness through successful performance of neuroimaging tasks. Despite these important advances, the day-to-day life experiences of any such patient remain unknown. This presents a major challenge for optimizing the patient’s standard of care and quality of life. We describe a patient who, following emergence from a state of complete behavioral unresponsiveness and a clinical diagnosis of VS, reported rich memories of his experience during this time. This case demonstrates the potential for a sophisticated mental life enabled by preserved memory in a proportion of patients who, similarly, are thought to be unconscious. Therefore, it presents an important opportunity to examine the implications for patient QoL and standard of care, both during the period of presumed unconsciousness and after recovery.
Similar books and articles
Should a Patient in Persistent Vegetative State Live?Atsushi Asai - 1999 - Monash Bioethics Review 18 (2):25-39.
How Family Caregivers' Medical and Moral Assumptions Influence Decision Making for Patients in the Vegetative State: A Qualitative Interview Study.Katja Kuehlmeyer, Gian Domenico Borasio & Ralf J. Jox - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (6):332-337.
Ethics of Neuroimaging After Serious Brain Injury.Charles Weijer, Andrew Peterson, Fiona Webster, Mackenzie Graham, Damian Cruse, Davinia Fernández-Espejo, Teneille Gofton, Laura E. Gonzalez-Lara, Andrea Lazosky, Lorina Naci, Loretta Norton, Kathy Speechley, Bryan Young & Adrian M. Owen - 2014 - BMC Medical Ethics 15 (1):41.
Mind Perception and Willingness to Withdraw Life Support.Jeffrey M. Rudski, Benjamin Herbsman, Eric D. Quitter & Nicole Bilgram - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (3):235-242.
Reflections on the Papal Allocution Concerning Care for Persistent Vegetative State Patients.Kevin O'Rourke - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (1):83-97.
Reflections on the Papal Allocution Concerning Care for Persistent Vegetative State Patients.O'Rourke O. Kevin - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (1):83-97.
Persistent Vegetative State: Clinical and Ethical Issues.Gastone G. Celesia - 1997 - Theoretical Medicine 18 (3):221-236.
Persistent Vegetative State: Clinical and Ethical Issues.Gastone G. Celesia - 1997 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (3).
Patient Autonomy and Quality of Care in Telehealthcare.Giovanni Rubeis, Maximilian Schochow & Florian Steger - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (1):93-107.
Pascal’s Wager and Deciding About the Life-Sustaining Treatment of Patients in Persistent Vegetative State.Jukka Varelius - 2011 - Neuroethics 6 (2):277-285.
First Person Epidemiological Measures: Vehicles for Patient Centered Care.Leah M. McClimans - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 10):2521-2537.
Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration for Patients in a Permanent Vegetative State: Changing Tack.Catherine Constable - 2012 - Bioethics 26 (3):157-163.
Towards Self-Determination in Quality of Life Research: A Dialogic Approach.Leah McClimans - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (1):67-76.
Can They Suffer? The Ethical Priority of Quality of Life Research in Disorders of Consciousness.L. Syd M. Johnson - 2013 - Bioethica Forum 6 (4):129-136.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
Memory and the Sense of Personal Identity.Stan Klein & Shaun Nichols - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):677-702.
The Minimally Conscious State: Definition and Diagnostic Criteria.Joseph T. Giacino & Childs N. Ashwal S. - 2002 - Neurology 58 (3):349-353.
Brain Damage and the Moral Significance of Consciousness.Julian Savulescu - 2009 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (1):6-26.
A Fate Worse Than Death? The Well-Being of Patients Diagnosed as Vegetative With Covert Awareness.Mackenzie Graham - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (5):1005-1020.