Since alterations in the brain have the potential to alter cognition, personality, and even the sense of self, do surgical innovations require special ethical consideration? Should "invasiveness" matter ethically, or do we simply weigh risks against benefits? Should we have distinct policy or regulation regarding neurosurgical innovation? Do patients contemplating such innovations require special protections?
Edwin H. “Ned” Cassem, SJ, MD, a beloved member of our Massachusetts General Hospital family who served as chief of Psychiatry from 1989 to 2000 and was a true leader in clinical ethics, died July 4 at the age of 80.
Brains create behavior. Yet we hold people, not brains, morally and legally responsible for their actions. Under what conditions could -- or should -- brain disorder affect the ways in which we assign moral and legal responsibility to a person?
Martha Montello, PhD, who teaches narrative methods in clinical ethics and mentors Harvard trainees and students on narrative methods, medical humanities, and literature and medicine, is the latest faculty member to join the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School.