What an International Declaration on Neurotechnologies and Human Rights Could Look like: Ideas, Suggestions, Desiderata

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (2):96-112 (2024)
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Abstract

International institutions such as UNESCO are deliberating on a new standard setting instrument for neurotechnologies. This will likely lead to the adoption of a soft law document which will be the first global document specifically tailored to neurotechnologies, setting the tone for further international or domestic regulations. While some stakeholders have been consulted, these developments have so far evaded the broader attention of the neuroscience, neurotech, and neuroethics communities. To initiate a broader debate, this target article puts to discussion twenty-five considerations and desiderata for recognition by a future instrument. They are formulated at different levels of abstraction, from the big picture to technical details, seek to widen the perspective of preparatory reports and transcend the narrow debate about “neurorights” which overshadows many richer and more relevant aspects. These desiderata are not an exhaustive enumeration but a starting point for discussions about what deserves and what requires protection by an international instrument.

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