Bioethics and the Brain by Walter GlannonBioethics and the Brain by Walter Glannon

Bioethics and the Brain

byWalter Glannon

Paperback | July 15, 2008

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Our ability to map and intervene in the structure of the human brain is proceeding at a very quick rate. Advances in psychiatry, neurology, and neurosurgery have given us fresh insights into the neurobiological basis of human thought and behaviour. Technologies like MRI and PET scans candetect early signs of psychiatric disorders before they manifest symptoms. Electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain can non-invasively relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and other conditions resistant to treatment, while implanting neuro-electrodes can helppatients with Parkinsons and other motor control-related diseases. New drugs can help regenerate neuronal connections otherwise disrupted by schizophrenia and similar diseases. All these procedures and drugs alter the neural correlates of our mind and raise fascinating and important ethical questions about their benefits and harms. They are, in a sense, among the most profound bioethical questions we face, since these techniques can touch on the deepest aspects of thehuman mind: free will; personal identity; the self; and the soul. In this book, Walter Glannon uses a philosophical framework that is fully informed by cutting edge neuroscience as well as contemporary legal cases such as Terri Schiavo, to offer readers an introduction to this fascinating topic. Hestarts by describing the state of the art in neuroscientific research and treatment, and gives the reader an up-to-date picture of the brain. Glannon then looks at the ethical implications of various kinds of treatments, such as: whether or not brain imaging will end up changing our views on freewill and moral responsibility; whether patients should always be told that they are at future risk for neurological diseases; if erasing unconscious emotional memories implicated in depression can go too far; if forcing behaviour-modifying drugs or surgery on violent offenders can ever be justified;the implications of drugs that enhance cognitive abilities; and how to define brain death and the criteria for the withdrawal of life-support.

About The Author

Walter Glannon is Canada Research Chair on Medical Bioethics and Ethical Theory, University of Calgary.
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Details & Specs

Title:Bioethics and the BrainFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.79 inPublished:July 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195371941

ISBN - 13:9780195371949

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Brain, Body, and Self3. Neuroimaging4. Pharmacological and Psychological Interventions5. Neurosurgery, Psychosurgery, and Neurostimulation6. Brain DeathEpilogueNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Glannon's work addresses a wide range of fascinating issues of modern medicine and related ethical issues which should be of great interest for neuroscientists and practicing neurologists, psychiatrists and researchers interested and engaged in bioethics, a problem widely neglected until today. Bioethics and the Brain is one of the most fascinating books about the problems and relations between neuroscience, practical medicine, and bioethics."--European Journal of Neurology "Walter Glannon recognizes the power and importance of the ongoing revolution in our understanding of the human brain, and this recognition is what makes Bioethics and the Brain especially welcome as one of the first efforts to systematically examine the metaphysical, existential, ethical, and legal consequences of this revolution."--New England Journal of Medicine