Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (2):269-279 (2020)

The study of the neuroscience and genomics of mental illness are increasingly intertwined. This is mostly due to the translation of medical technologies into psychiatry and to technological convergence. This article focuses on psychosis. I argue that the convergence of neuroscience and genomics in the context of psychosis is morally problematic, and that ethics scholarship should go beyond the identification of a number of ethical, legal, and social issues. My argument is composed of two strands. First, I argue that we should respond to technological convergence by developing an integrated, patient-centred approach focused on the assessment of individual vulnerabilities. Responding to technological convergence requires that we integrate insights from several areas of ethics, translate bioethical principles into the mental health context, and proactively try to anticipate future ethical concerns. Second, I argue that a nuanced understanding of the concept of vulnerability might help us to accomplish this task. I borrow Florencia Luna’s notion of ‘layers of vulnerability’ to show how potential harms or wrongs to individuals who experience psychosis can be conceptualised as stemming from different sources, or layers, of vulnerability. I argue that a layered notion of vulnerability might serve as a common ground to achieve the ethical integration needed to ensure that biomedical innovation can truly benefit, and not harm, individuals who suffer from psychosis.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-019-09932-4
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
The Fourth Revolution.Luciano Floridi - 2012 - The Philosophers' Magazine 57 (57):96-101.
Why Bioethics Needs a Concept of Vulnerability.Wendy Rogers, Catriona Mackenzie & Susan Dodds - 2012 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 5 (2):11-38.
Elucidating the Concept of Vulnerability: Layers Not Labels.Florencia Luna - 2009 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (1):121-139.

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