The Neglect of Persons with Severe Brain Injury in the United States: An International Human Rights Analysis

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Brain injury contributes more to death and disability globally than any other traumatic incident. While the past decade has seen significant medical advances, laws and policies remain stumbling blocks to treatment and care. The quality of life of persons with severe brain injury often declines with unnecessary institutionalization and inadequate access to rehabilitation and assistive technologies. This raises a host of rights violations that are hidden, given that persons with severe brain injury are generally invisible and marginalized. This article highlights the current neglect and experiences of persons with severe brain injury in the United States, analyzing the rights to life, health, benefit from scientific progress, education, freedom of expression, community, family, and equality.