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Profile: Fred Gilbert (University of Tasmania)
  1. Frédéric Gilbert (forthcoming). State of the Concussion Debate: From Sceptical to Alarmist Claims. Neuroethics:1-7.
    Current discussions about concussion in sport are based on a crucial epistemological question: whether or not we should believe that repetitive mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) causes Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This epistemological question is essential to understanding the ethics at stake in treating these cases: indeed, certain moral obligations turn on whether or not we believe that mTBI causes CTE. After discussing the main schools of thought, namely the CTE-sceptic position (which does not admit a causal relation between mTBI (...)
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  2. Frédéric Gilbert & Susan Dodds (2014). Is There a Moral Obligation to Develop Brain Implants Involving NanoBionic Technologies? Ethical Issues for Clinical Trials. NanoEthics 8 (1):49-56.
    In their article published in Nanoethics, “Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Brain-Implants Using Nano-Scale Materials and Techniques”, Berger et al. suggest that there may be a prima facie moral obligation to improve neuro implants with nanotechnology given their possible therapeutic advantages for patients [Nanoethics, 2:241–249]. Although we agree with Berger et al. that developments in nanomedicine hold the potential to render brain implant technologies less invasive and to better target neural stimulation to respond to brain impairments in the near (...)
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  3. 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.
    The goal of this article is to shed light on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) postoperative suicidality risk factors within Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) patients, in particular by focusing on the ethical concern of enrolling patient with history of self-estrangement, suicide attempts and impulsive–aggressive inclinations. In order to illustrate these ethical issues we report and review a clinical case associated with postoperative feelings of self-estrangement, self-harm behaviours and suicide attempt leading to the removal of DBS devices. Could prospectively identifying and excluding (...)
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  4. Frederic Gilbert, Andrej Vranic & Samia Hurst (2013). Involuntary & Voluntary Invasive Brain Surgery: Ethical Issues Related to Acquired Aggressiveness. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 6 (1):115-128.
    Clinical cases of frontal lobe lesions have been significantly associated with acquired aggressive behaviour. Restoring neuronal and cognitive faculties of aggressive individuals through invasive brain intervention raises ethical questions in general. However, more questions have to be addressed in cases where individuals refuse surgical treatment. The ethical desirability and permissibility of using intrusive surgical brain interventions for involuntary or voluntary treatment of acquired aggressiveness is highly questionable. This article engages with the description of acquired aggressiveness in general, and presents a (...)
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  5. 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.
    Although an invasive medical intervention, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been regarded as an efficient and safe treatment of Parkinson’s disease for the last 20 years. In terms of clinical ethics, it is worth asking whether the use of DBS may have unanticipated negative effects similar to those associated with other types of psychosurgery. Clinical studies of epileptic patients who have undergone an anterior temporal lobectomy have identified a range of side effects and complications in a number of domains: psychological, (...)
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  6. Frederic Gilbert, Alexander R. Harris & Robert M. I. Kapsa (2012). Efficacy Testing as a Primary Purpose of Phase 1 Clinical Trials: Is It Applicable to First-in-Human Bionics and Optogenetics Trials? AJOB Neuroscience 3 (2):20-22.
    In her article, Pascale Hess raises the issue of whether her proposed model may be extrapolated and applied to clinical research fields other than stem cell-based interventions in the brain (SCBI-B) (Hess 2012). Broadly summarized, Hess’s model suggests prioritizing efficacy over safety in phase 1 trials involving irreversible interventions in the brain, when clinical criteria meet the appropriate population suffering from “degenerative brain diseases” (Hess 2012). Although there is a need to reconsider the traditional phase 1 model, especially with respect (...)
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  7. Frederic Gilbert & Bradley J. Partridge (2012). The Need to Tackle Concussion in Australian Football Codes. Medical Journal of Australia 196 (9):561-563.
    Postmortem evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of American National Football League players who suffered concussions while playing have intensified concerns about the risks of concussion in sport.1 Concussions are frequently sustained by amateur and professional players of Australia’s three most popular football codes (Australian football, rugby league, and rugby union) and, to a lesser extent, other contact sports such as soccer. This raises major concerns about possible long-term neurological damage, cognitive impairment and mental health problems in (...)
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  8. Frederic Bretzner, Frederic Gilbert, Françoise Baylis & Robert M. Brownstone (2011). Target Populations for First-In-Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Spinal Cord Injury. Cell Stem Cell 8 (5):468-475.
    Geron recently announced that it had begun enrolling patients in the world's first-in-human clinical trial involving cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). This trial raises important questions regarding the future of hESC-based therapies, especially in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. We address some safety and efficacy concerns with this research, as well as the ethics of fair subject selection. We consider other populations that might be better for this research: chronic complete SCI patients for a safety trial, subacute (...)
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  9. Andrew Fenton & Frederic Gilbert (2011). On the Use of Animals in Emergent Embryonic Stem Cell Research for Spinal Cord Injuries. Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (1):37-45.
    In early 2009, President Obama overturned the ban on federal funding for research involving the derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved Geron’s first-in-human hESC trial for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. We anticipate an increase in both research in the United States to derive hESC and applications to the FDA for approval of clinical trials involving transplantation of hESCs. An increase of such clinical trials will require a concomitant increase in the (...)
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  10. Frederic Gilbert (2011). Working While Under the Influence of Performance-Enhancing Drugs: Is One “More Responsible”? American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2 (3):57-59.
    The purpose of this commentary is to address an ethical issue introduced by Walter Glannon regarding whether responsibility can be affected by the use of performance enhancing drugs. Glannon uses the example of a surgeon taking drugs to enhance her capacities. I explore whether conducting surgeries while under the influence of performance enhancing drugs will affect the surgeon’s responsibility for performing more surgeries ‘and’ the surgeon’s responsibility for assuming the consequences of performing these surgeries. Here, the ‘and’ is cumulative: one (...)
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  11. Frederic Gilbert & Bernard Baertschi (2011). Neuroenhancement: Much Ado About Nothing? American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2 (4):45-47.
    In their paper “Deflating the neuroenhancement bubble”, more precisely in their section entitled “How New is Neuroenhancement?”, Lucke and colleagues argue that neuroenhancement is nothing new to our epoch by demonstrating that the use of psychoactive stimulants in the 19th and 20th centuries was already common. The purpose of our comment is to show that the current bubble surrounding neuroenhancement in particular, and enhancement in general, is a recasting of an even older speculative engagement that can be traced back from (...)
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  12. Frederic Gilbert, Lawrence Burns & Timothy Krahn (2011). The Inheritance, Power and Predicaments of the “Brain-Reading” Metaphor. Medicine Studies 2 (4):229-244.
    Purpose With the increasing sophistication of neuroimaging technologies in medicine, new language is being sought to make sense of the findings. The aim of this paper is to explore whether the brain-reading metaphor used to convey current medical or neurobiological findings imports unintended significations that do not necessarily reflect the genuine findings made by physicians and neuroscientists. Methods First, the paper surveys the ambiguities of the readability metaphor, drawing from the history of science and medicine, paying special attention to the (...)
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  13. 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).
    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is optimistically portrayed in contemporary media. This already happened with psychosurgery during the first half of the twentieth century. The tendency of popular media to hype the benefits of DBS therapies, without equally highlighting risks, fosters public expectations also due to the lack of ethical analysis in the scientific literature. Media are not expected (and often not prepared) to raise the ethical issues which remain unaddressed by the scientific community. To obtain a more objective portrayal of (...)
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  14. Frederic Gilbert & L. Syd M. Johnson (2011). The Impact of American Tackle Football-Related Concussion in Youth Athletes. AJOB Neuroscience 2 (4):48-59.
    Postmortem research on the brains of American tackle football players has revealed the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma. Repeated concussion is a risk factor for CTE, raising ethical concerns about the long-term effects of concussion on athletes at risk for football-related concussion. Of equal concern is that youth athletes are at increased risk for lasting neurocognitive and developmental deficits that can result in behavioral disturbances and diminished academic performance. In this (...)
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  15. Mark Munsterhjelm & Frederic Gilbert (2010). ¿Cómo Entran En Conflicto Las Responsabilidades de Un Investigador Con Los Derechos de Los Aborígenes? Problemas En Investigación Genética y Biobancos En Taiwán. Dilemata 4.
    Taiwan has a population of 23 million, of which some 500,000 are Aborigines. Recent conflicts over a national biobank as part of Taiwan's biotechnological industrial development, genetic research on Aboriginal origins, and commercialization of research findings involving Aborigines have raised a number of important ethical conflicts. These ethical conflicts involve on one hand, the importance of researchers' duties, and on the other hand, Aboriginal rights. This paper will go in three steps. First, this paper describes the three cases of ethical (...)
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  16. Mark Munsterhjelm & Frederic Gilbert (2010). How Do Research Duties Conflict with Aboriginal Rights? Genetics Research and Biobank Problem in Taiwan. Dilemata 2 (4):33-56.
    Taiwan has a population of 23 million, of which some 500,000 are Aborigines. Recent conflicts over a national biobank as part of Taiwan's biotechnological industrial development, genetic research on Aboriginal origins, and commercialization of research findings involving Aborigines have raised a number of important ethical conflicts. These ethical conflicts involve on one hand, the importance of researchers' duties, and on the other hand, Aboriginal rights. This paper will go in three steps. First, this paper describes the three cases of ethical (...)
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