Ethical Aspects of Interventional Neuroscience: Nanoneuronal Interfaces


The emerging scientific field of nanotechnology enabled humankind to manipulate the environment at the molecular and atomic levels, and it has the potential to revolutionize all scientific fields. Medicine is a prominent field that has witnessed a nanotechnological revolution. However, due to the current views in philosophy and ethics, this emerging technology can be considered inconsistent or conflicting with what most ethicists in the area of medicine hold to be true. Nanotechnology and neuroscience are raising unavoidable questions concerning the ethical justification of human enhancement and intervention. Enhancement can be ethically justifiable when physicians work beyond the limits of traditional goals and ethical principles of medicine, and philosophers are called for new sets of values from which we can derive the traditional views of personhood, the ethical values from where our sense of personhood, value or identity comeand be consistent with current human conditions. This article argues the features of these questions of beneficence and probable problems of nanotechnology in the framework of human dignity and personal identity.

Key Concepts

  • Nanotechnology has reformed the medical field approaches and protocols by allowing the professionals to manipulate the biological structures and offering new insights into radical new treatments.
  • Beneficence, nonmaleficence, respect for autonomy and justice are the principles – the four pillars – that constitute the core of all health practitioners.
  • Nanotechnological intervention is ethical if the patient expressed his/her own desires with rational arguments and are being in possession of all relevant facts and possible consequences without committing logical errors.
  • Brain enhancement is ethical since it can be viewed as a struggle to improvement in learning and developmental capacities, and there is no rule that can view this as unethical endeavors.
  • The mortal character of our sense of personhood does not mean that our values and our sense of identity are currently conditioned by our temporal limits and must always be so conditioned.

Keywords: nanotechnology; nanoparticles; enhancement; ethics; personal identity


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Keskinbora, Kadircan H, and Jameel, Muslim A(Apr 2019) Ethical Aspects of Interventional Neuroscience: Nanoneuronal Interfaces. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0028647]