In conditions of prognostic uncertainty, neurointensivists and families often struggle to make decisions for unresponsive patients with brain injuries. However, a new study demonstrates that after brain injury electrophysiological assessment (electroencephalography [EEG]) has potential prognostic value.1 This could have profound implications for clinically and ethically consequential decisions, such as withdrawing life-sustaining treatment or managing potentially life-threatening events such as sepsis. Here, we outline 2 interrelated ethical considerations for neurointensivists who use these methods when communicating prognostic information to patients’ families.
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Peterson A, Owen AM, Karlawish J. Translating the Discovery of Covert Consciousness Into Clinical Practice. JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(5):541–542. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.0232
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