Rola świadomości w decyzjach dotyczących zaprzestania podtrzymywania funkcji życiowych
The Role of Consciousness in the End-of-life Decisions
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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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