Ethics Of Brain Implant Technology

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Brain Implants.

Brain implants, also known as neural implants, are technology implanting devices on surface of the brain that connects directly to the neural system. Some possible use for brain implant technology are treatment for brain disorder, restoring and enhancing of sensory system, and augmenting brain processing. In this paper, the ethical considerations of applying brain implant technology for both therapeutic and enhancement purpose will be examined.

Overview of brain implant technology Brain implant technology stimulates or receives electrical activity of nerve system through electrodes on microchip implanted on surface of brain. Stimulating brain creates fake neural signal and by stimulating right area of brain,
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In 1998, 53 years old men kwon as J.R. was treated with brain implants that connects this brain activity to a computer. J.R had a brain stem stroke which caused him lock-in syndrome, a penalization of most voluntary muscles except eyes. All of his voluntary muscles were paralyzed that he wasn’t able to move any of his body parts including fingers and vocal chords. He wasn’t able to write or speak; in other words he lost ability to communicate. Drs. Roy Bakay and Phillip Kennedy of Emory University implanted electrodes to J.R.’s brain that is connected to the computer through hard-wire. Using this implants, J.R. was able to move a cursor on a computer to express himself by selecting phrases or letters. (Wolpe …show more content…
Not only that people are scared of altering mind by brain implants, there are some problems in therapeutic use of brain implants. One of the problem of therapeutic use of brain implant is when it is unable to get consent from the patient. For example, in J.R.’s case, mentioned above, patient was not in condition to communicate due to lock-in syndrome. When patient is unable to communicate, it is impossible to get consent from the patient. If patient as family member who can acts as a legal guardian of the patient, it can be fairly simple. Doctor just can inform the legal guardian about the procedure and get consent from them. However, if the patient doesn’t have any family member or a legal guardian, the problem stands. Should the doctor enforce the procedure without consent of the patient, or should just leave the patient in locked-in state where patient possibly suffering unable to express

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