Ethics Priorities of the Curing Coma Campaign: An Empirical Survey

and the Curing Coma Campaign and its contributing members

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The Curing Coma Campaign (CCC) is a multidisciplinary global initiative focused on evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, research, and prognostication for patients who are comatose due to any etiology. To support this mission, the CCC Ethics Working Group conducted a survey of CCC collaborators to identify the ethics priorities of the CCC and the variability in priorities based on country of practice. Methods: An electronic survey on the ethics priorities for the CCC was developed using rank-choice questions and distributed between May and July 2021 to a listserv of the 164 collaborators of the CCC. The median rank for each topic and subtopic was determined. Comparisons were made on the basis of country of practice. Results: The survey was completed by 93 respondents (57% response rate); 67% practiced in the United States. On the basis of respondent ranking of each topic, the prioritization of ethics topics across respondents was as follows: (1) clinical care, (2) diagnostic definitions, (3) clinical research, (4) implementation/innovation, (5) family, (6) data management, (7) public engagement/perceptions, and (8) equity. Respondents who practiced in the United States were particularly concerned about public engagement, the distinction between clinical care and research, disclosure of results from clinical research to families, the definition of “personhood,” and the distinction between the self-fulfilling prophecy/nihilism and medical futility. Respondents who practiced in other countries were particularly concerned about diagnostic modalities for clinical care, investigational drugs/devices for clinical research, translation of research into practice, and the definition of “minimally conscious state.” Conclusions: Collaborators of the CCC considered clinical care, diagnostic definitions, and clinical research the top ethics priorities of the CCC. These priorities should be considered as the CCC explores ways to improve evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, research, and prognostication of patients with coma and associated disorders of consciousness. There is some variability in ethics priorities based on country of practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Coma
  • Disorders of consciousness
  • End-of-life
  • Ethics
  • United States
  • Humans
  • Coma/diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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