Patients with implanted neural devices offer researchers unique opportunities to study the basic workings of the human brain. This is made possible by patients undergoing epilepsy monitoring or the surgical implantation of a deep brain stimulation device, patients with chronic implants like RNS systems, and patients participating in brain-machine interface studies to develop new neurotechnology. Should we utilize these opportunities to answer scientific questions about the brain and what’s at stake when we do? What do patients understand and value about their participation in these studies, which offer no direct therapeutic benefits? This talk will provide an overview of the ethical issues in basic human neuroscience research with implanted devices and the unique contextual features that engender them. Special attention will be given to intraoperative studies and challenges for consent.
1. Explain the fundamental ethical challenges of basic human neuroscience research with implanted devices
2. Evaluate current practices against two leading ethical principles: maintaining the integrity of clinical care and ensuring voluntariness of participation.