Article

Ethical Issues in Functional Neurosurgery: Emerging Applications and Controversies

Nir Lipsman and Mark Bernstein

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0106

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Ethical Issues in Functional Neurosurgery: Emerging Applications and Controversies

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  • Cognitive Neuroscience
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This article discusses ethical questions in neurosurgery as falling into two categories, namely those surrounding what neurosurgeons are currently doing, i.e. their current practices, and those surrounding what neurosurgeons will, theoretically, be capable of doing in the future, i.e. their future practices. It reveals the current and emerging applications of functional neurosurgery as well as the future controversies that will stem from them. It focuses on psychosurgery, enhancement (cognitive and physical) and the brain–machine interface (BMI), in order to illustrate the pertinent ethical challenges and the role of the neurosurgeon in helping to address them. These three applications represent natural extensions of each other, as an exploration of the underlying mechanisms of psychopathology will ultimately provide insight into normal brain function. Concerns about the future of implantable technology, and the neurosurgeon's role in installing it, need to be addressed.

Keywords: ethical questions; neurosurgery; psychosurgery; enhancement; brain–machine interface

Article.  5588 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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