Author(s)Morse, Stephen J.
neurological and psychiatric disorders
Health Law and Policy
Law and Psychology
Public Law and Legal Theory
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AbstractThis article suggests that investigational deep brain stimulation (DBS) for mental disorders raises few new bioethical issues. Although the scientific basis of the procedure may be both complex and largely unknown, addressing informed consent in such situations is a familiar problem. After reviewing the legal and moral background for investigating DBS and the scientific difficulties DBS faces as a potential treatment for mental disorders, the article focuses on informed consent and makes two primary suggestions. The study of DBS may proceed, but "hyper-disclosure" of the complexities should be required for competent subjects or proper surrogates if the candidate is not competent, and the most rigorous standard for competence should be employed. Throughout, neuromodesty and caution are urged.