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Unconscious States: Is there anybody there?

Date:
Thursday 22 March 2018
Time:
5.30pm - 7.30pm

Location: Waldegrave Drawing Room, St Mary's University

Hosted by the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET).

Disorders of consciousness arise from sudden profound brain injury, and instantaneously deprive that person of all awareness of self and social connectedness. While these persons (now ‘patients’) are typically totally unaware of the catastrophe that has befallen them, it is left to the families now stunned into a period of intense loss, to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

When this situation persists and hope of recovery gradually wanes, realisation dawns and an array of coping mechanisms are displayed. These range from anger to ambiguous loss and back again. Resolution of these feelings, crystallisation of patients' previously expressed wishes, a re-statement of the clinical possibility or futility of treatments, lead inevitably to questions of withdrawal of these treatments, previously reserved to the Courts, but now possibly resolved without a legal ruling.

This now affects staff, external agencies and it matters tremendously to society in which we all live, and die. This talk will hope to inform, yet stimulate thought and discussion.

About the speaker

Dr Andrew Hanrahan, Consultant in Neurorehabilitation at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney.

Dr Hanrahan, one of the most experienced clinicians in the UK in caring for such patients and their families, will be sharing his ethical reflections based on his extensive clinical experience.

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Date:
Thursday 22 March 2018
Time:
5.30pm - 7.30pm

Find out more

For more information about this event please email trevor.stammers@stmarys.ac.uk.

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