Transcranial electrical stimulation for human enhancement and the risk of ...

Fecha 10/1/2019 8:58:00 | Categoría: Bioetica y Legislación

Lavazza A. Transcranial electrical stimulation for human enhancement and the risk of inequality: Prohibition or compensation? Bioethics. 2019; 33(1):122-131.

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Non-invasive brain stimulation is used to modulate brain excitation and inhibition and to improve cognitive functioning. The effectiveness of the enhancement due to transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is still controversial, but the technique seems to have large potential for improvement and more specific applications. In particular, it has recently been used by athletes, both beginners and professionals. This paper analyses the ethical issues related to tDCS enhancement, which depend on its specific features: ease of use, immediate effect, non-detectability and great variability of effects. If tDCS were to become widespread, there could be some potential side effects, especially the rise of inequality in many selective competitive contexts. I discuss two possible scenarios to counter this effect: that of prohibition and that of compensation, each supported by reasons and arguments that seem plausible and worthy of consideration. In conclusion, I show why I think the scenario of compensation is the preferable one.



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