Neural interface systems : a new legal frontier?
Kiel-Chisholm, Scott D. (2011) Neural interface systems : a new legal frontier? In International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation 2011 (ICERI2011), 14 - 15 November 2011, Melia Castilla Convention Centre, Madrid. (Unpublished)
In an age where digital innovation knows no boundaries, research in the area of brain-computer interface and other neural interface devices go where none have gone before. The possibilities are endless and as dreams become reality, the implications of these amazing developments should be considered.
Some of these new devices have been created to correct or minimise the effects of disease or injury so the paper discusses some of the current research and development in the area, including neuroprosthetics.
To assist researchers and academics in identifying some of the legal and ethical issues that might arise as a result of research and development of neural interface devices, using both non-invasive techniques and invasive procedures, the paper discusses a number of recent observations of authors in the field.
The issue of enhancing human attributes by incorporating these new devices is also considered. Such enhancement may be regarded as freeing the mind from the constraints of the body, but there are legal and moral issues that researchers and academics would be well advised to contemplate as these new devices are developed and used.
While different fact situation surround each of these new devices, and those that are yet to come, consideration of the legal and ethical landscape may assist researchers and academics in dealing effectively with matters that arise in these times of transition. Lawyers could seek to facilitate the resolution of the legal disputes that arise in this area of research and development within the existing judicial and legislative frameworks. Whether these frameworks will suffice, or will need to change in order to enable effective resolution, is a broader question to be explored.
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