“I Am Who I Am”: On the Perceived Threats to Personal Identity from Deep Brain Stimulation [Book Review]

Neuroethics 6 (3):513-526 (2013)

Authors
Françoise Baylis
Dalhousie University
Abstract
This article explores the notion of the dislocated self following deep brain stimulation (DBS) and concludes that when personal identity is understood in dynamic, narrative, and relational terms, the claim that DBS is a threat to personal identity is deeply problematic. While DBS may result in profound changes in behaviour, mood and cognition (characteristics closely linked to personality), it is not helpful to characterize DBS as threatening to personal identity insofar as this claim is either false, misdirected or trivially true. The claim is false insofar as it misunderstands the dynamic nature of identity formation. The claim is misdirected at DBS insofar as the real threat to personal identity is the discriminatory attitudes of others towards persons with motor and other disabilities. The claim is trivially true insofar as any dramatic event or experience integrated into one’s identity-constituting narrative could then potentially be described as threatening. From the perspective of relational personal identity, when DBS dramatically disrupts the narrative flow, this disruption is best examined through the lens of agency. For illustrative purposes, the focus is on DBS for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Keywords Neuroethics  Personal identity  Deep brain stimulation  Parkinson’s disease  Agency
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9137-1
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References found in this work BETA

The Constitution of Selves.Marya Schechtman (ed.) - 1996 - Cornell University Press.
The Constitution of Selves.Christopher Williams & Marya Schechtman - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):641.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is That the Same Person? Case Studies in Neurosurgery.Nancy S. Jecker & Andrew L. Ko - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (3):160-170.
Dimensions of Ethical Direct-to-Consumer Neurotechnologies.Karola V. Kreitmair - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (4):152-166.

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