Attitudes of lay people to withdrawal of treatment in brain damaged patients

Jacob Gipson, Guy Kahane, Julian Savulescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Whether patients in the vegetative state (VS), minimally conscious state (MCS) or the clinically related locked-in syndrome (LIS) should be kept alive is a matter of intense controversy. This study aimed to examine the moral attitudes of lay people to these questions, and the values and other factors that underlie these attitudes. Method: One hundred ninety-nine US residents completed a survey using the online platform Mechanical Turk, comprising demographic questions, agreement with treatment withdrawal from each of the conditions, agreement with a series of ethical principles and three personality tests. Results: More supported treatment withdrawal from VS (40.2 agreed, 17.6 disagreed) than MCS (20.6 , 41.2 ) or LIS (25.3 , 35.8 ). Agreement with treatment withdrawal was negatively correlated with religiosity (r=-0.272, P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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