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Law and NeuroscienceCurrent Legal Issues Volume 13$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599844

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.367) 18 Minds Apart: Severe Brain Injury, Citizenship, and Civil Rights
Source:
Law and Neuroscience
Author(s):

Joseph J. Fins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599844.003.0018

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.

Keywords:   patient rights, neuroscience, consciousness disorders, human rights, diagnostic services, rehabilitative services

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