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June 2010

Individual Justice or Societal Injustice—Reply

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Medical Ethics (Dr Fins), and Department of Neurology and Neuroscience (Dr Schiff), Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York; and JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, New Jersey Neuroscience Institute, Edison (Dr Giacino).

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(6):777-779. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.104

In reply

We thank Drs Weisleder and Canavero for their comments. Dr Weisleder asserts that we are mistaken in invoking a distributive justice ethic for an individual patient, and he is correct if that were our intent. Instead, we have long invoked a distributive justice claim for the entire class of patients with disorders of consciousness for work that might elucidate the nature of their injuries and ameliorate their conditions.13 These patients have lingered collectively at the margins with a societal neglect syndrome.13

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