Neuroimaging and disorders of consciousness: Envisioning an ethical research agenda

Joseph J. Fins, Judy Illes, James L. Bernat, Joy Hirsch, Steven Laureys, Emily Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

The application of neuroimaging technology to the study of the injured brain has transformed how neuroscientists understand disorders of consciousness, such as the vegetative and minimally conscious states, and deepened our understanding of mechanisms of recovery. This scientific progress, and its potential clinical translation, provides an opportunity for ethical reflection. It was against this scientific backdrop that we convened a conference of leading investigators in neuroimaging, disorders of consciousness and neuroethics. Our goal was to develop an ethical frame to move these investigative techniques into mature clinical tools. This paper presents the recommendations and analysis of a Working Meeting on Ethics, Neuroimaging and Limited States of Consciousness held at Stanford University during June 2007. It represents an interdisciplinary approach to the challenges posed by the emerging use of neuroimaging technologies to describe and characterize disorders of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Bioethics
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy

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