The issue of concussion in sport is a matter of global public interest that is currently under dispute by educational, legal, and medical professionals and scientists. In this article we discuss the problem from philosophical, bioethical, and sports ethical perspectives. We articulate conceptual differences in approaches to definition and therefore diagnosis of concussion. We critically review similarities and differences in the leading consensus statements that guide the treatment of concussion diagnosis and treatment in sports. We then present a series of ethical problems including issues that relate to paternalistic intervention in the lives of athletes in order to prevent harm to athletes, conflicting and competing interests, and confidentiality.
McNamee is a professor with the College of Engineering, Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom. Partridge is a senior research fellow with the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Anderson is a senior lecturer with the Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.