Rights language and disorders of consciousness: a call for advocacy

Joseph J. Fins, Megan S. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Drawing upon sources in neuroethics, civil rights, and disability rights law, we argue for the reintegration of people with severe brain injury back into the nexus of their families and communities consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, both of which call for the maximal integration of people with disability into society. To this end, we offer a rights-based argument to address the care of people with severe brain injury. Instead of viewing the provision of rehabilitation as a reimbursement issue, which it surely is, we argue that it can be productively understood as a question of civil rights for a population generally segregated from the medical mainstream and from society itself. Their segregation in the chronic care sector constitutes disrespect for persons, made all the more consequential because recent advances in brain injury rehabilitation make reintegration into civil society an aspirational, if not achievable goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-674
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 16 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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