Monday July 10, 2017
The Open Mind: Are 'unconscious' patients more conscious than we think?
New scientific tools are opening windows into what goes on inside another person's mind. People who'd once have been judged 'vegetative' or 'lacking awareness', might now be able to show they're 'still there', and ultimately communicate with the outside world through a brain scan. Philosophy PhD student Andrew Peterson is embedded with scientists at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University and considers the ethical and moral questions emerging from this cutting edge research. **This episode originally aired May 4, 2016.
Philosophy PhD student Andrew Peterson at Western University studies the ethics of medical research on severely brain injured patients. "People who have injuries can lead extraordinary lives after injury. For these patients, the science unlocks the voice and what I want to do is empower their voice."
Guests in order of appearance:
- Andrew Peterson, PhD student and member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Owen Lab in The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University. His work is part of a research program called The Ethics of Neuroimaging After Serious Brain Injury. Later this year, he will take up a research faculty position at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University.
- Laura Gonzalez, research coordinator & liaison at The Brain and Mind Institute
- Linda Bruni, sister and caregiver to Ida Bruni-Fraser
- Ines Bruni, mother and caregiver to Ida Bruni-Fraser
- Linda Gosling, case facilitator with Brain Injury Community Re-entry (Niagara)
- Dr. Joseph Fins, Professor of Medical Ethics at Cornell University and chief of the Medical Ethics division at Weill Cornell Medical College. He's the author of Rights Come to Mind: Brain Injury, Ethics and the Struggle for Consciousness.
- Anita Silvers, Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at San Francisco State University. Her areas of focus include medical ethics, bioethics, disability studies, and feminism. One of her most influential books is Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy.
Ideas from the Trenches is produced by Nicola Luksic and Tom Howell.