Cognitive regeneration or enhancement: the ethical issues

Sarah Chan, John Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

The neurological and physiological basis of brain function and disease has been a significant focus of investigation throughout the history of medical research, Recent advances in understanding have led to the development of new treatments for diseases of the brain and defects of cognitive and behavioral function: pharmacological, cell-based and even gene therapy may all provide keys to cognitive regeneration. Such therapies, however, might be applied not only towards restoring brain function in the case of disease but to enhance cognitive function for healthy individuals. The concept of cognitive enhancement raises many ethical issues: whether brain-enhancing treatments should be developed and made available and to whom; and what potential consequences might arise.? This paper explores some of the ethical arguments associated with cognitive enhancement and concludes that although the technology involved is as yet uncertain and issues of social equity remain to be addressed, the potential benefit of enhancing human brain function is clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalRegenerative medicine
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2006

Keywords

  • cognitive enhancement
  • ethics
  • regeneration
  • ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • MODAFINIL IMPROVES COGNITION
  • THERAPY
  • DISEASE
  • HEALTH

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