Authors
Brian D. Earp
Oxford University
Julian Savulescu
Oxford University
Abstract
Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. As the intervention moves away from being a treatment toward being an enhancement—and thus toward a more uncertain weighing of the benefits, risks, and costs—considerations of the child’s best interests diminish, and the need to protect the child’s autonomy looms larger. NIBS for enhancement involving trade-offs should therefore be delayed, if possible, until the child reaches a state of maturity and can make an informed, personal decision. NIBS for treatment, by contrast, is permissible insofar as it can be shown to be at least as safe and effective as currently approved treatments, which are themselves justified on a best interests standard.
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DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00953
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References found in this work BETA

The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.
The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.
.Julian Savulescu - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
In Defense of Posthuman Dignity.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.

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Citations of this work BETA

Psychedelic Moral Enhancement.Brian D. Earp - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 83:415-439.
Sex and Circumcision.Brian D. Earp - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):43-45.
Moral Neuroenhancement.Brian D. Earp, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge.

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