Neuroethics

L0027293 The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biom Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics. Scraperboard drawing by Bill Sanderson, 1997. Drawing 1997 By: Bill SandersonPublished: [1997] Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

“Imagine a legal system where, if you are a testifying witness, you must have an fMRI scan of your brain to determine if you are lying or telling the truth.

Imagine taking a drug that can ease your painful memories, preventing the formation of post-traumatic stress.

Imagine stepping into a trans-cranial magnetic stimulation salon for fifteen minutes and leaving refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to face the hardened world once again.

Imagine your employer’s routine genetic screening of your traits such, as intelligence, greed, and even criminal behavior.”

As neurology and neuroscience develop at a pace, are we really developing the commensurate ethical knowledge to deal with the inevitable issues that will arise from the science fiction like scenarios listed above? These are taken from a very interesting website called Neuroethics (thanks Mr. Trump!). I have discussed on other posts this process where the law and ethical understandings lag behind the exponential development of technology; it is clear that the speculative process that this blogger is going through needs to become more systemic if we are to avoid retrofitting our thinking around test cases.

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