Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre
University of York and Cardiff University
The centre comprises a multi-disciplinary group of researchers exploring the cultural, ethical, legal and social dimensions of coma, the vegetative state and the minimally conscious state.
Its members have an extensive research archive of interviews with family members and are planning to extend their research into, for example, ethnographic work in care homes. They are also pursuing research into how decision-making, care and support can be improved and exploring the ethical and economic debates around this issue, as well as examining the potential of innovative cultural engagements to enrich public debate. The research findings have been converted into multi-media online resources to support families and practitioners.
The network of staff involved in the centre are interested in a wide range of questions including: how developments in 'brain science' influence understandings of (un)consciousness; how ‘personhood’ is perceived in relation to the vegetative state; how the ‘minimally conscious’ diagnosis is constructed, deployed and contested; and how such states are represented in literature, the media, law and everyday practice.