Authenticity or autonomy? When deep brain stimulation causes a dilemma

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (12):757-760 (2013)

Abstract

While deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients with Parkinson's disease has typically raised ethical questions about autonomy, accountability and personal identity, recent research indicates that we need to begin taking into account issues surrounding the patients’ feelings of authenticity and alienation as well. In order to bring out the relevance of this dimension to ethical considerations of DBS, I analyse a recent case study of a Dutch patient who, as a result of DBS, faced a dilemma between autonomy and authenticity. This case study is meant to point out the normatively meaningful tension patients under DBS experience between authenticity and autonomy

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