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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLaw and Neuroscience
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Legal Issues
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725227
ISBN (Print)9780199599844
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Consciousness disorders
  • Diagnostic services
  • Human rights
  • Neuroscience
  • Patient rights
  • Rehabilitative services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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