The Ethics of Using Brain Stimulation to Enhance Learning in Children
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Along these same lines, access to this technology must be such that parents will not resort to purchasing or constructing this technology without being trained in its applications and shortcomings. Some may argue that regulation of this technology and criminalization of its use outside of a clinical setting may deter parents until further data is available, but ultimately the success of needle exchange programs and other public health initiatives shows us that harm reduction is the most ethical path until an optimal end point can be reached (Kleinig 2009). In this case, the optimal end point would be proven therapeutic value of TDCS for pediatric patients, and an equitable dissemination of TDCS for those whom it is indicated. Although there is understandable skepticism regarding this technology among researchers, it may be possible to expand TDCS access to children of parents who would otherwise attempt home use of this technology. It should be a priority of researchers to advocate for parents of children with disabilities in order that they might have equitable access to TDCS and make informed decisions regarding their child’s treatment, especially given that risks and rewards of treatment may vary by disorder type and severity. At the same time, it is crucial that parents seeking a “last resort” option are not commodified and used for studies that have little interest in alleviating their child’s disability.
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Leistikow, Peter. (2016). The Ethics of Using Brain Stimulation to Enhance Learning in Children. The Neuroethics Blog. Retrieved on , from http://www.theneuroethicsblog.com/2016/08/the-ethics-of-using-brain-stimulation.html