Technologies and devices that intervene in the brain are being developed to help treat diseases such as stroke, dementia, obesity and depression. This, and the possible use of such technologies for non-medical purposes, is becoming a subject of debate.
This Working Party will explore the ethical, social and legal issues arising from the development and impact of these 'novel neurotechnologies'.read more »
The Council will be an advisory partner on a new play, ‘Brainwaves’, which explores the ethical and social impact of developments in neurotechnology.read more »
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics today launched a consultation on the ethics of new types of technologies and devices that ‘intervene’ in the brain, such as brain-computer interfaces, deep brain stimulation, and neural stem cell therapy.
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To launch a consultation on novel neurotechnologies that intervene in the brain, Professor Tom Baldwin, chair of the inquiry, outlines the ethical issues. Dr Alena Buyx, former Assistant Director of the Council, goes on to describe neurostimulation and neural stem cell therapy in more detail, and Professor Kevin Warwick, a member of the Working Party, discusses some of his work on brain-computer interfaces.read more »
The consultation on ethical issues raised by novel neurotechnologies that intervene in the brain closed on 23 April 2012.
The Council would like to thank everyone who contributed their views. The responses are being considered by the Working Party, and a report with recommendations for policy will be published in Summer 2013.
Where permission has been granted, the responses will be available to download after the Working Party has published its report.read more »
The Council has set up a new Working Party to consider the ethical issues raised by novel neurotechnologies that intervene in the brain such as deep brain stimulation, brain-computer interfaces and neuron replacement therapy.
This project aims to identify and explore the key ethical issues that are relevant to technologies at the early stages of translation from the laboratory to practical use.read more »
In contrast to established interventional neurotechnologies such as electroconvulsion or brain prostheses, that have been discussed for several decades, 'novel neurotechnologies' are in the early stages of translation from the laboratory to use in medical treatment or in other, non-medical settings.
Examples of novel neurotechnologies include:read more »
To identify and consider the ethical, legal and social issues that arise from the use of novel neurotechnologies to intervene in the human brain in both clinical practice and non-medical settings.
To explore ethical issues from the communication and representation of neuroscientific research to intervene in the brain in the media and by researchers.
To draft a report and make recommendations for research, policy, governance and public engagement.