Being conscious of their burden: Severe brain injury and the two cultures challenge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

23 Scopus citations


Writing 50 years after the publication of C. P. Snow's Two Cultures and The Scientific Revolution, this paper considers the many cultures that have to intersect to sustain and deepen the advances in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with disorders of consciousness. To bridge this "two-culture divide," the paper contextualizes scientific developments in this field within work in medical ethics and the humanities. The author asserts that this line of inquiry cannot go forward responsibly absent input from the humanities and an appreciation of the lived experiences of patients and families who confront the quotidian and existential challenges of severe brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDisorders of Consciousness
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781573317436
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Disorders of consciousness
  • Medical ethics
  • Minimally conscious state
  • Neuroethics
  • Persistent vegetative state
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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