In S. Ligthart, D. van Toor, T. Kooijmans, T. Douglas & G. Meynen (eds.), Neurolaw: Advances in Neuroscience, Justice and Security. Palgrave Macmillan (2021)

Lisa Forsberg
Oxford University
Thomas Douglas
Oxford University
Many states recognize a legal right to bodily integrity, understood as a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s body. Recently, some have called for the recognition of an analogous legal right to mental integrity: a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s mind. In this chapter, we describe and distinguish three different rationales for recognizing such a right. The first appeals to case-based intuitions to establish a distinctive duty not to interfere with others’ minds; the second holds that, if we accept a legal right to bodily integrity, then we must, on pain of philosophical inconsistency, accept a case for an analogous right over the mind; and the third holds that recent technological developments create a need for a legal right to mental integrity.
Keywords mental integrity  bodily integrity  autonomy  legal rights  applied ethics
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