Language and neuropsychology

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Transcript Language and neuropsychology

Ethical issues in human
experimentation
Marlene Behrmann
Department of Psychology, CMU
and
Department of Neuroscience, Pitt
2002
Bioethics
• Awesome advance of biomedical research
– Both experimental/basic
– And clinical
• Originally problems more in medical ethics
– Abortion
– Euthanasia
– Reproductive technologies
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Human experimentation
• Set of scientific activities the primary purpose
of which is to develop or contribute to
generalizable knowledge about the chemical,
physiological or psychological processes
involved in human functioning
• Called ‘human experimentation’ because uses
humans as subjects
• Therapeutic research versus nontherapeutic
research
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Policy to regulate research
practices
• Nuremberg code
– Developed by Allies after WW2
– Standards against which to judge Nazis
– Silent regarding informed consent if incompetent
• Declaration of Helsinki (1964)
– Beyond Nuremberg code
» Differentiates clinical versus nonclinical research
» Proxy consent
» Primary emphasis on medical/clinical
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Major issues
• Research as moral imperative?
• Informed consent
• Who should be a research subject?
• Paying research subjects
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Research as moral imperative?
– Usually utilitarian: improve treatment and techniques
– Benefited from previous research; must continue
» Deontological
– Indispensible to progress
» Health as a public good
» Science is an instrument of progress
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Informed consent
– Principle of respect
– Autonomy
– Competence
– Coercion?
– Who can consent?
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Who should be a research
subject?
– Volunteers in scientific community
– Only what researcher would do him/herself
– Economically and socially disadvantaged, children,
prisoners
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Paying research subjects
• Pay for their costs
• No undue inducement
– Set payment low so no coercion
– Reflect the nature of the risk: how assess this?
» When is too much risk?
– What about patients?
– fMRI studies?
– Differs among labs and sets up competition
Some argue that it is paternalistic
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Neuroethics
• Ethical issues in enhancement
– Gingko biloba, prozac (SSRI), ritalin
• Court-ordered CNS intervention
– Aggressive behavior -> SSRI, fluoxetine
– Sex offenders subject to pharmacological treatment
• Mind reading
– Can classify some by scans (introversion vs
extroversion)
– Drug-free addicts show strong PET activation in
amygdala, anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex to
paraphernalia
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Other longstanding issues
• How safe are new methods
– High res fMRI, TMS
• What is the course of action when an
abnormality is detected on imaging?
• How much should one divulge to a subject?
• What considerations guide new therapies for
diseases such as Parkinsons?
– Fetal transplant?
• Genetic testing for Huntington’s disease?
• Ethics of psychosurgery?
2002
References
Blank, R. H. (1999). Brain policy: how the new
neuroscience will change our lives and our politics.
Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC.
Fukuyama, F. (2002). Our posthuman future. Farrar,
Strauss and Giroux, NY.
Farah, M. J. (2002). Emerging ethical issues in
neuroscience. Nature Neuroscience, 5, 11, 1123-1129.
2002