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The effects of closed-loop brain implants on autonomy and deliberation: what are the risks of being kept in the loop?


Gilbert, F and O'Brien, T and Cook, M, The effects of closed-loop brain implants on autonomy and deliberation: what are the risks of being kept in the loop?, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 27, (2) pp. 316-325. ISSN 0963-1801 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Cambridge University Press 2018

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DOI: doi:10.1017/S0963180117000640


A new generation of implantable Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) devices have been tested for the first time in a human clinical trial with significant success. These intelligent implants detect specific neuronal activity patterns, like an epileptic seizure, then provide information to help patients to respond to the upcoming neuronal events. By forecasting a seizure, the technology keeps patients in the decisional loop; the device gives control to patients on how to respond and decide on a therapeutic course ahead time. Being kept in the decisional loop can positively increase patients quality of life; however, doing so does not come free of ethical concerns. There is currently a lack of evidence concerning the various impacts of closed‐loop system BCIs on patients' decision‐making processes, especially how being in the decisional loop impacts patients' sense of autonomy. This article addresses these gaps by providing data we obtained from a first‐in‐human clinical trial involving patients implanted with advisory brain devices. This manuscript explores ethical issues related to the risks involved with being kept in the decisional loop.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:advisory system, autonomy, brain computer interfaces, closed‐loop system, decision‐making processes, decisional vulnarebility, deliberation, identity, predictive implant, self.
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Ethical use of new technology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Bioethics
UTAS Author:Gilbert, F (Associate Professor Frederic Gilbert)
ID Code:116878
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150101390)
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-05-24
Last Modified:2019-12-03
Downloads:88 View Download Statistics

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