Open Access: Well-Being in Minimally Conscious Patients

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Graham, M., (2018), 'Domains of Well-Being in Minimally Conscious Patients: Illuminating a Persistent Problem', American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, Vol: 9(2) [PMC5989155]

Strahl and Banja (2018) bring needed attention to the challenges of balancing the precedent autonomy and quality of life concerns of patients in the minimally conscious state (MCS). MCS patients possess severely altered consciousness, but are capable of demonstrating inconsistent behavioral evidence of awareness of self, or environment. Strahl and Banja argue that appealing to precedent autonomy is not a panacea for surrogate decision making on behalf of MCS patients. For this reason, we need to appeal to considerations of patient quality of life to supplement decisions to maintain or withdraw life-sustaining treatment.

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