Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Looking Ahead: The Importance of Views, Values, and Voices in Neuroethics—Now

  • JAMES GIORDANO

Abstract:

The body-to-head transplant (BHT) planned to be undertaken later this year at China’s Harbin Medical University by neurosurgeons Sergio Canavero and Xiaoping Ren has attracted considerable attention and criticism. The intended operation gives rise to philosophical queries about the body–brain–mind relationship and nature of the subjective self; technical and ethical issues regarding the scientific soundness, safety, and futility of the procedure; the adequacy of prior research; and the relative merit, folly, and/or danger of forging new boundaries of what is biomedically possible. Moreover, that this procedure, which has been prohibited from being undertaken in other countries, has been sanctioned in China brings into stark relief ways that differing social and political values, philosophies, ethics, and laws can affect the scope and conduct of research. Irrespective of whether the BHT actually occurs, the debate it has generated reveals and reflects both the evermore international enterprise of brain science, and the need for neuroethical discourse to include and appreciate multicultural views, values, and voices.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All

This work was supported in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement 720270: HBP SGA1 (to J.G.); by federal funds UL1TR001409 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA), a trademark of the Department of Health and Human Services, part of the Roadmap Initiative, “Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise” (to J.G.); by funding from the AEHS Foundation, in conjunction with Project Neuro-HOPE (to J.G.); and from the Austin and Ann O’Malley Visiting Chair in Bioethics of Loyola Marymount University (to J.G.).

Footnotes

References

Hide All

Notes

1. Wolpe, PR. A human head transplant would be reckless and ghastly: It’s time to talk about it. Vox, 2. April 2018; available at https://www.vox.com/the-big.../4/.../human-head-transplant-canavero-ethics-bioethics; (last accessed 5 Apr 2018).

2. See, for example, American Journal of Bioethics–Neuroscience 2017;8(4); and Furr, A, Hardy, MA, Barret, JP, Barker, JH. Surgical, ethical, and psychosocial considerations in human head transplantation. International Journal of Surgery 2017;21:16.

3. White, RJ, Wolin, LR, Massopust, LC Jr, Taslitz, N, Verdura, J. Primate cephalic transplantation: Neurogenic separation, vascular association. Transplantation Proceedings 1971;3:602–4.

4. Shook, JR, Giordano, J. Ethics transplants? Addressing the risks and benefits of guiding international biomedicine. American Journal of Bioethics–Neuroscience, 2017;8(4):230–2.

5. Canavero, S. Commentary. Surgical Neurology International 2015;6:103.

6. Pascalev, A, Pascalev, M, Giordano, J. Head transplants, personal identity and neuroethics. Neuroethics 2015;8:18.

7. Caplan, A. Doctor seeking to perform head transplant is out of his mind. Forbes. 2015, 1; available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/arthurcaplan/2015/02/26/doctor-seeking-to-perform-head-transplant-is-out-of-his-mind/; (last accessed 3 Apr 2018).

8. Chalmers, D. Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1995;2:200–19.

9. Giordano, J. Conditions for consent to the use of neurotechnology: A preparatory neuroethical approach to risk assessment and reduction. American Journal of Bioethics–Neuroscience 2015;6(4):12–4.

10. Shook, JR, Giordano, J. Moral bioenhancement for social welfare: Are civic institutions ready? Frontiers in Sociology 2017;2(21):15.

11. Widdows, H: Western and Eastern principles and globalised bioethics. Asian Bioethics Review 2011;3(1):1422.

12. Petryna, A: Ethical variability: Drug development and globalizing clinical trials. American Ethnologist 2005;32(2):183–97.

13. Lanzilao, E, Shook, J, Benedikter, R, Giordano, J. Advancing neuroscience on the 21st century world stage: The need for—and proposed structure of—an internationally relevant neuroethics. Ethics in Biology Engineering and Medicine 2013;4(3):211–29.

14. Shook, JR, Giordano, J. A principled, cosmopolitan neuroethics: Considerations for international relevance. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2014;9(1).

15. Giordano, J, Benedikter, R. Neurotechnology, culture and the need for a cosmopolitan neuroethics. In: Giordano, J. ed. Neurotechnology: Premises, Potential and Problems. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2012:233–41.

16. See DARPA. Neural Engineering Systems Design Proposed Team Activities. n.d.; available at https://www.darpa.mil/attachments/FactsheetNESDKickoffFinal.pdf; and DARPA. Nonsurgical Neural Interfaces Could Significantly Expand Use of Neurotechnology. March 16, 2018; available at https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-03-16 (last accessed 3 Apr 2018).

17. Lenk, H. Technokratie als Idelogie: Sozialphilosophische Beitrage zu einem politischen Dilemma. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag; 1973.

18. Jonas, H. Das Prinzip Verantwortung: Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation, Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag; 1979.

19. Giordano, J, Benedikter, R. An early—and necessary—flight of the owl of Minerva: Neuroscience, neurotechnology, human socio-cultural boundaries, and the importance of neuroethics. Journal of Evolution and Technology 2012;22(1):1425.

20. Kushner, T, Giordano, J. Neuroethics: Cashing the reality check. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2017;26:524–5.

21. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD Report: Neurotechnology and Society. November 2017; available at: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/science-and-technology/neurotechnology-and-society_f31e10ab-en; (last accessed 12 Apr 2018).

22. Giordano, J, Shook, JR. Neuroethics: What it is, does, and should do. Health Care Ethics USA 2018;Spring:15.

23. Illes, J. Preface: Part 2– A brief look back. In: Illes, J, Hossein, S. eds. Neuroethics: Anticipating the Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, at xiv.

This work was supported in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement 720270: HBP SGA1 (to J.G.); by federal funds UL1TR001409 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA), a trademark of the Department of Health and Human Services, part of the Roadmap Initiative, “Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise” (to J.G.); by funding from the AEHS Foundation, in conjunction with Project Neuro-HOPE (to J.G.); and from the Austin and Ann O’Malley Visiting Chair in Bioethics of Loyola Marymount University (to J.G.).

Keywords

Looking Ahead: The Importance of Views, Values, and Voices in Neuroethics—Now

  • JAMES GIORDANO

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed