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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.1-3 These patients have lingered collectively at the margins with a societal neglect syndrome.1-3

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