A New Ethics of Psychiatry: Neuroethics, Neuroscience, and Technology

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Abstract

Neuroethics is a new subset of bioethics that addresses ethical issues pertaining to the brain, primarily in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, and neuroradiology. Research in brain science is progressing at a phenomenal rate and, as a result, the acquisition and application of knowledge and technology raises ethical questions of a practical and philosophical nature. While neuroethics is developing as a distinct field of study, one area that should be addressed in greater depth is the relevance and potential impact of neurotechnology in psychiatry. New knowledge in the mind-brain conundrum and increasingly sophisticated techniques for imaging and intervening in human cognition, emotion, and behavior pose ethical issues at the intersection of technology and psychiatry. This article presents a broad survey of the new directions in neuroethics, neuroscience, and technology and considers the implications of technological advances for the practice of psychiatry in the new millennium. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2009;15:391–401)

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