Ethics of Neuromodulation in Psychiatry

Joseph J. Fins, Barbara R. Pohl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Neuropsychiatric conditions pose profound moral dilemmas within the health care system. Many individuals suffering from severe psychiatric illnesses do not receive treatments that respond to their clinical needs and many others suffer from the pervasive stigma attached to mental illness. In this chapter the history of neuropsychiatric deep brain stimulation is reviewed and neuroethical principles governing its application are explored with a focus on translational research and device regulation. This analysis draws upon the basic tenets of research and clinical ethics, given that neuromodulation is both an emergent therapy and a probative device to conduct research. Derivative questions of personhood and intervention in the brain are also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuromodulation in Psychiatry
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781118801086
ISBN (Print)9781118801048
StatePublished - Mar 5 2016


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Ethical principles
  • History of psychiatry
  • History of somatic treatments
  • Neuroethics
  • Neuromodulation
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Personhood
  • Psychosurgery
  • Regulatory ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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