Neuroethics is a distinct content field that is concerned with “the ethics of neuroscience and the neuroscience of ethics.” In clinical specialties like neurology, neurosurgery, and neuropsychology, neuroethics focuses on the ethics of neurotechnology research and application as well as social and policy issues associated with their use. A young and rapidly growing field, neuroethics has had a substantial impact on scientific research and clinical practice. Neuroethics has been emphasized by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and has become an integral part of major national-level funded neuroscience initiatives across the globe.
In this article, Dr. Karen Rommelfanger and Ms. Kelsey Drewry of Emory University discuss why, as neuroscience continues to evolve and the nature of possible clinical interventions changes, neurologists must begin to consider the implications of interventions to the brain on personhood and identity, autonomy and agency, as well as for informed consent.
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