Rola świadomości w decyzjach dotyczących zaprzestania podtrzymywania funkcji życiowych

Tomasz Żuradzki


The Role of Consciousness in the End-of-life Decisions

Recent fMRI research suggests that at least some patients diagnosed as being in the permanent vegetative state can be more aware than it was previously thought. In this paper I briefly discuss the aforementioned research; then I consider to which of several kinds of consciousness they appeal to; and finally I analyze the ethical implications of these findings. In particular I consider whether having higher forms of consciousness must always be an additional reason against the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. In my paper I also highlight the general importance of cognitive science for the ethical evaluations of some medical practices.


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