Semin Neurol 2022; 42(03): 375-392
DOI: 10.1055/a-1883-0701
Review Article

Neuroethics across the Disorders of Consciousness Care Continuum

Michael J. Young
1   Division of Neurocritical Care, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Andrew Peterson
2   Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy and Department of Philosophy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
› Author Affiliations
Funding A.P. is funded by R21AG069805 and the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program. M.J.Y. is funded by NIH BRAIN Initiative F32MH123001, American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Award, and the Tiny Blue Dot Foundation.


This review provides an ethical analysis of disorders of consciousness (DoC) along the care continuum, from preinjury to injury, acute care to subacute care and early rehabilitation, and finally transitioning to chronic rehabilitation and societal reintegration. We provide an actionable, chronological assessment of ethical issues related to DoC care. This expands upon established ethics literature, which focuses almost exclusively on the clinical encounter for DoC. Our goal is to broaden the aperture of ethical analysis to address how social and environmental conditions predispose some persons to brain injury, and how such conditions might also pose barriers to meaningful societal reintegration after recovery.

Publication History

Accepted Manuscript online:
23 June 2022

Article published online:
13 September 2022

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