Minds Apart: Severe Brain Injury, Citizenship, and Civil Rights

Joseph J. Fins

in Law and Neuroscience

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599844
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725227 | DOI:

Series: Current Legal Issues

Minds Apart: Severe Brain Injury, Citizenship, and Civil Rights

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Despite the impressive progress that has been made in neuroscience, little has changed for patients with disorders of consciousness who struggle for access to even basic diagnostic and rehabilitative services as they remain sequestered from the scientific advances, which might make a difference in their lives. Although this is certainly a question of access to care, it is more than an entitlement issue. It is fundamentally a question of human rights in which a class of patients have been denied voice and been victimized by segregation and disinterest. This chapter considers how current practices and ethical norms should evolve to reflect progress in the neurosciences for this neglected population. In making these recommendations, it draws parallels to the US Civil Rights Movement, a struggle worthy of emulation as we consider ways to achieve integration and parity in civic life for a population society has forgotten.

Keywords: patient rights; neuroscience; consciousness disorders; human rights; diagnostic services; rehabilitative services

Chapter.  9182 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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