On the Significance of the Identity Debate in DBS and the Need of an Inclusive Research Agenda. A Reply to Gilbert, Viana and Ineichen



Gilbert et al. (Neuroethics, 2018) argue that the concerns about the influence of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on – as they lump together – personality, identity, agency, autonomy, authenticity and the self (PIAAAS) are due to an ethics hype. They argue that there is only a small empirical base for an extended ethics debate. We will critically examine their claims and argue that Gilbert and colleagues do not show that the identity debate in DBS is a bubble, they in fact give very little evidence for that. Rather they show the challenges of doing research in a field that is stretched out over multiple disciplines. In that sense their paper is an important starting point for a discussion on methodology and offers valuable lessons for a future research agenda.


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