SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89
ISSN Print: 1050-6934
Volumes:Volume 28, 2018 Volume 27, 2017 Volume 26, 2016 Volume 25, 2015 Volume 24, 2014 Volume 23, 2013 Volume 22, 2012 Volume 21, 2011 Volume 20, 2010 Volume 19, 2009 Volume 18, 2008 Volume 17, 2007 Volume 16, 2006 Volume 15, 2005 Volume 14, 2004 Volume 13, 2003 Volume 12, 2002 Volume 11, 2001 Volume 10, 2000
Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Abstract of "Neural Engineering: The Ethical Challenges Ahead"
The Harvard Program in Ethics and Health, Harvard Medical School, 651 Huntington Avenue, FXB 6th Floor Boston, MA 02115
Ethics Institute, Dublin City University, Dublin 9 Irland
Most current research efforts in neural engineering focus on restoring health and functionality of the nervous system. In addition, there is considerable interest in developing neural engineering technologies for the purpose of enhancement. In the short run, the bulk of the neural engineering applications will likely continue to be focused on curing disease and reinstating lost functions. In the medium or long term, however, the focus of neural engineering might slowly but surely shift from therapy toward enhancement. Although neural engineering has a huge potential to relieve suffering, its further development is likely to trigger difficult ethical questions as well. In order to guarantee responsible development and appropriate use of neural engineering technologies, several ethical problems will have to be tackled. Immediately problematic are the risks that are potentially involved in connection with the required surgical interventions and with the tolerance of the body toward neuroimplants. Furthermore, several undesirable effects could surface in connection with neural engineering enhancement technologies in the long term. First, privacy, autonomy, and numerical identity could be violated. In addition, the application of enhancing neural engineering technologies would be in danger of promoting social injustice. Besides, widespread use of neural engineering for the purpose of enhancement could fan the flames of medicalization. Finally, intensive use of virtual environments might cause addiction, trigger negative personality changes, and blur the difference between artificial and real environments. Taken overall, these ethical problems appear substantial. Anticipative debate is needed to avoid these pitfalls and facilitate responsible further development and appropriate use of neural engineering technologies.
|Begell Digital Portal||Begell Digital Library||eBooks||Journals||References & Proceedings||Research Collections|