Achieving the good life through electrical stimulation? Deep brain stimulation and depression - means, ends and ethics

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Details

Authors
  • Veronica Johansson
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences

Keywords

  • Neuroethics, Deep Brain Stimulation, Ethics, Depression
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
EventThe 16th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy & Technology (SPT 2009): Converging Technologies, Changing Societies - University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, Netherlands
Duration: 2009 Jul 82009 Jul 10

Conference

ConferenceThe 16th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy & Technology (SPT 2009): Converging Technologies, Changing Societies
CountryNetherlands
Period2009/07/082009/07/10

Bibliographic note

Within bioethics there has in recent years been an increasing interest in the ethical implications of deep brain stimulation (DBS), and lately the first articles on DBS and depression have appeared. DBS, commonly referred to as a brain pacemaker or a neurostimulator, is a surgical treatment where invasive electrodes stimulate brain structures deep within the brain such as the thalamus or the basal ganglia. Initially DBS was used as a last resort treatment for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor as well as relieving chronic pain. Today its use is extended. Beside attempts to treat migraine, epilepsy and balance disorders, studies have been conducted to evaluate DBS as a treatment of for instance Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and major depression. Further, the technique is considered as a possible treatment for anorexia, obesity, cocaine addiction and aggression, which is likely to spur the ethical discussion even further. Though, as for now much of the discussion on ethics and DBS evolves around questions regarding clinical practices. Another approach is to discuss the ethics of DBS in relation to one of the oldest questions in philosophy: what constitutes a good human life? This poster presents an account of the ethical implications of DBS and depression, based on the classical theories on the human good.