Legal perspectives in novel psychiatric treatment and related research

Poiesis and Praxis 2 (4):315-328 (2004)
Abstract
The new generation of psychopharmacological products have proved their efficacy. Some neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, could be treated by means of the gene therapy. Although the aetiology of such diseases is still not completely known, it has been proven that the patients lack some substances that could be produced by means of the transfer of in vivo or ex vivo genes that codify them in the proper places of the brain. Furthermore, it is announced that the implantation in laboratory grown stem cells of diverse origins is very hopeful. Cerebral (micro)electronic implants could be effective to fight some motor diseases as well as sensory functions. All of these kinds of new treatments need to be tested through clinical research. Most national legislation includes provisions on the clinical trials of drugs and a series of guarantees, procedures and conditions which are designed to ensure protection for individuals used in experiments and to assure that the trial is indeed of scientific relevance. However, few lay down similar regulations or provide for specific controls for the research of other treatments. Finally, enhancement of psychic capacities pose new problems for society as well as do the need for new legal decisions
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