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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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Finding Consciousness: The Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law of Severe Brain Damage


ISBN13: 9780190280307
Published: March 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £45.99



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Modern medicine enables us to keep many people alive after they have suffered severe brain damage and show no reliable outward signs of consciousness. Many such patients are misdiagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state when they are actually in a minimally conscious state. This mistake has far-reaching implications for treatment and prognosis. To alleviate this problem, neuroscientists have recently developed new brain-scanning methods for detecting consciousness in some of these patients and even for asking them questions, including "Do you want to stay alive?" These new technological abilities raise many questions about what exactly these methods reveal (Is it really consciousness?), how reliable they are (Do they fail to detect consciousness in some patients who are conscious?), what are these patients' lives like (Do they feel pain?), what we should do for and to these patients (Should we let them die?), who should decide (Are these patients competent to decide for themselves?), and which policies should governments and hospitals enact (Which kinds of treatment should be made available?). All of these questions and more are addressed in this collection of original papers. The prominent contributors provide background information, survey the issues and positions, and take controversial stands from a wide variety of perspectives, including neuroscience and neurology, law and policy, and philosophy and ethics. This collection should interest not only academics but anyone who might suffer brain damage, which includes us all.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
1. - Finding Consciousness: An Introduction
By Meghan Brayton and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
2. - Discussion with a Caring Father
By Ken Diviney and Katherine Grichnik

PART I: Consciousness
3. - The Geography of Unconsciousness: From Apparent Death to the Minimally Conscious State
By Jeffrey Baker
4. - Consciousness and Death: The Whole-Brain Formulation of Death
By James L. Bernat
5. - Modes of Consciousness
By Tim Bayne and Jakob Hohwy


PART II: Diagnosis
6. - What is it like to be in a Disorder of Consciousness
By Caroline Schnakers
7. - Decoding Thoughts in Behaviorally Non-Responsive Patients
By Adrian Owen and Lorina Naci
8. - Persistent Vegetative State, Akinetic Mutism, and Consciousness
By Will Davies and Neil Levy

PART III: Ethics
9. - Lay Attitudes to Withdrawal of Treatment in Disorders of Consciousness and Their Normative Significance
By Jacob Gipson, Guy Kahane, and Julian Savulescu
10. - Moral Conflict in the Minimally Conscious State
By Joshua Shepherd
11. - What's Good for Them? Best Interests and Severe Disorders of Consciousness
By Jennifer Hawkins
12. - Minimally Conscious States and Pain: A Different Approach to Patient Ethics
By Valerie Gray Hardcastle

PART IV: Law
13. - The Legal Circle of Life
By Nita Farahany and Rachel Zacharias
14. - Guardianship and the Injured Brain: Representation and the Rights of Patients and Families
By Joseph Fins and Barbara Pohl

References
Index