POST - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States

Published Thursday, March 26, 2015

A POSTnote discussing the medical, legal and ethical challenges associated with the care of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states.

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Medical advances mean that increasing numbers of people survive trauma, stroke, periods of low oxygenation and severe brain infections. Some, however, are left with substantially reduced consciousness for months to years. This paper discusses the medical, legal and ethical challenges associated with the care of patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states.

POSTnotes POST-PN-489

Authors: Sarah Bunn; Zoe Fritz

Topics: Community care, Death, Diseases, Health finance, Health services, Health staff and professions, Medical ethics, Medicine, Science

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.