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Misdiagnosis as an ethical and scientific challenge
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics. (Bioethics)
2014 (English)In: Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità, ISSN 0021-2571, Vol. 50, no 3, 229-233 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Difficulties of behavioral assessment of consciousness. An astonishingly high rateof misdiagnosis between vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and minimallyconscious state has been detected. This raises the issue of the adequacy of theconsciousness’ assessment in patients with disorders of consciousness. The behavioralassessment of consciousness could be not able to detect covert awareness, which is increasinglyidentified by the instrumental assessment.Ancillary methods. Neurotechnology, particularly neuroimaging, provides relevant dataconcerning the neurological underlying condition of patients with DOCs, but the instrumentalapproach has still to assess some technical issues.Ethical considerations. A correct diagnosis of a DOC is not only an instrumental issue,but also an ethically relevant demand to the scientific community. Finally, an integrationbetween behavioral and instrumental assessments seems to be the most adequate strategyin order to decrease the rate of misdiagnosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 50, no 3, 229-233 p.
National Category
Medical Ethics Ethics Neurology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234878DOI: 10.4415/ANN_14_03_05OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-234878DiVA: diva2:758207
Human Brain Project
Available from: 2014-10-24 Created: 2014-10-24 Last updated: 2014-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Farisco, Michele
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