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NeuroethicsDefining the issues in theory, practice, and policy$
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Judy Illes

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567219.001.0001

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The social effects of advances in neuroscience: legal problems, legal perspectives

The social effects of advances in neuroscience: legal problems, legal perspectives

(p.245) Chapter 17 The social effects of advances in neuroscience: legal problems, legal perspectives

Henry T. Greely (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The term ‘neuroethics’ has been given several kinds of meanings. One use of neuroethics describes ethical problems arising directly from research in neuroscience; for example, what should researchers doing brain imaging tell research subjects about unusual findings of no known clinical significance? The term is also used to describe neuroscience (usually imaging) research into how humans resolve ethical or moral issues; for example, what parts of the brain are activated when subjects are wrestling with moral dilemmas? This chapter discusses a third area of neuroethics: the implications of new discoveries in, and capabilities of, neuroscience for our society and their consequences for the legal system. It looks specifically at three different ways in which neuroscience seems likely to change society and law. The discussion focuses on the society and the legal system of the United States, but the same basic issues will be found in all technologically advanced societies.

Keywords:   neuroethics, neurosciences, social change, law, neuroimaging

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