The future of implantable neuroprosthetic devices: ethical considerations.
From well-established results with cochlear implants to the advent of implantable microelectrode arrays, implantable neuroprosthetic devices have gained increasing attention from health care professionals, scientists, engineers, and the general population. With recent depictions of neuroprostheses in the news media and in movies, confusion about their current state and concern for their future use has increased tremendously among members of the public. Many government agencies and nongovernment organizations are also concerned with the safety and efficacy of these devices. We discuss the present state of development of some of these implantable neuroprostheses, the possible future use of this technology, and the associated ethical issues that can be of concern, including manufacturing, animal experimentation, human trials, scope of use, and individual and societal concerns.
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