Mason Institute Event: ‘Deep Brain Stimulation and Ablative Neurosurgery in Psychiatry: Is There A Moral Difference?’, Edinburgh, 27th September 2018

Date: 4pm, Thursday 27th September 2018

Location: Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, 23 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh

Dr Jonathan Pugh, from Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is currently being investigated as an experimental treatment for patients suffering from a range of treatment-refractory psychiatric disorders, with an increasing number of case reports and small-scale trials published. At the same time, ablative forms of neurosurgery for mental disorder (NMD) are also having a renaissance as an experimental treatment modality in psychiatry. Indeed, some commentators have suggested that DBS and NMD should be investigated as rival treatment paradigms for psychiatric disorders. Similarly, mental health law in a number of jurisdictions (including Scotland) has stipulated that DBS should be subject to the same legal safeguards as NMD. or that DBS should be defined as a form of ‘psychosurgery’. In this talk, I shall counter the view that these interventions are morally equivalent as psychiatric treatment modalities. In particular, I shall defend the claim that the effects of DBS are reversible from recent criticisms, and explain why this reversibility has considerable ethico-legal significance in this context.

Free event. No booking required.

Please, follow the link for the venue location:,+Edinburgh+EH8+9LN,+UK/@55.9425113,-3.1901008,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4887c7830444fa5b:0xeab89b1bbe500a6!8m2!3d55.9425113!4d-3.1879121

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