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Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

ISSN Print: 2151-805X
ISSN Online: 2151-8068

Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/EthicsBiologyEngMed.2014010710
pages 211-229

Advancing Neuroscience on the 21st− Century World Stage: The Need for and a Proposed Structure of an Internationally Relevant Neuroethics

Elisabetta Lanzilao
Department of Graduate Liberal Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA
John R. Shook
Department of Philosophy, and Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, Buffalo New York, USA
Roland Newman
Tanabe Research Labs USA, 4540 Towne Centre Court, San Diego, California 92121
James Giordano
Generation Research Program, Human Science Center, Ludwig-Maximilians Universitat, Munchen, GER; Department of Neurology and Neuroethics Studies Program, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

ABSTRACT

Neuroscience has made ardent strides in assessing, accessing, and engaging the structure and function(s) of the brain through the use of ever more advanced and sophisticated innovations in bioengineering. Recent trends reveal the growth of neuroscientific and neurotechnology (neuroS/T) investments worldwide. The internationalization of neuroS/T will likely influence and be affected by extant and newly established asymmetrical relationships among developed, developing, and non-developed nations. The speed, extent, and power conferred by neuroS/T give rise to a number of pressing ethical as well as legal and social questions and issues, which are fostering wider awareness, anticipation, and anxiety. The field of neuroethics addresses these issues and their possible resolutions. How will neuroethics be developed−and enacted−to sustain international relevance, validity, and value? Herein, we offer a model for an applied international neuroethics, starting from an overview and analysis of its socio-political potential on a global level. We examine this model in light of principlism and some additional useful precepts and guidelines. We conclude by offering Rawlsian "reflective equilibrium" as a bridge to Dower's theoretical construct of "communitarian cosmopolitanism", and thereby yield a procedural method that satisfices our fundamental premises and corollary principles.