Did My Brain Implant Make Me Do It? Questions Raised by DBS Regarding Psychological Continuity, Responsibility for Action and Mental Competence
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Neuroethics 6 (3):527-539 (2013)
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a well-accepted treatment for movement disorders and is currently explored as a treatment option for various neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several case studies suggest that DBS may, in some patients, influence mental states critical to personality to such an extent that it affects an individual’s personal identity, i.e. the experience of psychological continuity, of persisting through time as the same person. Without questioning the usefulness of DBS as a treatment option for various serious and treatment refractory conditions, the potential of disruptions of psychological continuity raises a number of ethical and legal questions. An important question is that of legal responsibility if DBS induced changes in a patient’s personality result in damage caused by undesirable or even deviant behavior. Disruptions in psychological continuity can in some cases also have an effect on an individual’s mental competence. This capacity is necessary in order to obtain informed consent to start, continue or stop treatment, and it is therefore not only important from an ethical point of view but also has legal consequences. Taking the existing literature and the Dutch legal system as a starting point, the present paper discusses the implications of DBS induced disruptions in psychological continuity for a patient’s responsibility for action and competence of decision and raises a number of questions that need further research
|Keywords||Deep brain stimulation Personal identity Psychological continuity Responsibility for action Mental competence|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Stephen E. Braude (1996). Multiple Personality and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 3 (1):37-54.
David DeGrazia (2005). Human Identity and Bioethics. Cambridge University Press.
W. Glannon (2009). Stimulating Brains, Altering Minds. Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (5):289-292.
Jeanette Kennett & Steve Matthews (2002). Identity, Control and Responsibility: The Case of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):509-526.
John Locke (2008/1995). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
F. Kraemer (2013). Authenticity or Autonomy? When Deep Brain Stimulation Causes a Dilemma. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (12):757-760.
Similar books and articles
Felicitas Kraemer (2013). Me, Myself and My Brain Implant: Deep Brain Stimulation Raises Questions of Personal Authenticity and Alienation. Neuroethics 6 (3):483-497.
Maartje Schermer (2013). Health, Happiness and Human Enhancement—Dealing with Unexpected Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation. Neuroethics 6 (3):435-445.
Adrian Carter, Emily Bell, Eric Racine & Wayne Hall (2011). Ethical Issues Raised by Proposals to Treat Addiction Using Deep Brain Stimulation. Neuroethics 4 (2):129-142.
Nir Lipsman & Walter Glannon (2013). Brain, Mind and Machine: What Are the Implications of Deep Brain Stimulation for Perceptions of Personal Identity, Agency and Free Will? Bioethics 27 (9):465-470.
Frederic Gilbert (2012). The Burden of Normality: From 'Chronically Ill' to 'Symptom Free'. New Ethical Challenges for Deep Brain Stimulation Postoperative Treatment. Journal of Medical Ethics 8 (7):408-412.
Cordelia Erickson-Davis (2011). Ethical Concerns Regarding Commercialization of Deep Brain Stimulation for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Bioethics 26 (8):440-446.
Frederic Gilbert (2013). Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression: Postoperative Feelings of Self-Estrangement, Suicide Attempt and Impulsive–Aggressive Behaviours. Neuroethics 6 (3):473-481.
Veronica Johansson, Martin Garwicz, Martin Kanje, Helena Röcklinsberg, Jens Schouenborg, Anders Tingström & Ulf Görman (2013). Beyond Blind Optimism and Unfounded Fears: Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression. Neuroethics 6 (3):457-471.
Françoise Baylis (2013). “I Am Who I Am”: On the Perceived Threats to Personal Identity From Deep Brain Stimulation. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 6 (3):513-526.
Simon Beck (2013). Am I My Brother's Keeper? On Personal Identity and Responsibility. South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):1-9.
Marc Slors (1998). Two Conceptions of Psychological Continuity. Philosophical Explorations 1 (1):61 – 80.
Desheng Zong (2011). Retention of Indexical Belief and the Notion of Psychological Continuity. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):608-623.
Frederic Gilbert & Ovadia Daniela (2011). Deep Brain Stimulation in the Media: Over-Optimistic Media Portrayals Calls for a New Strategy Involving Journalists and Scientifics in the Ethical Debate. Journal of Integrative in Neuroscience 5 (16).
Simon Beck (2011). Causal Copersonality: In Defence of the Psychological Continuity Theory. South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):244-255.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads36 ( #54,770 of 1,413,409 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #41,910 of 1,413,409 )
How can I increase my downloads?