Ethics in Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology considers the brain to be a critical substrate of the mind. A patient with dementia, for example, might fear the loss of self and experience deep-seated anxiety. How should clinicians respond when physical and cognitive symptoms of organic brain disease are accompanied by complex and intense emotional experiences of illness? Neuropsychology also poses ethical questions that are not necessarily generated by illness. For example, memory manipulation has risks and benefits that need consideration from ethical and clinical, as well as social and cultural, perspectives. When neuropsychological research and technological innovation promise healing or enhancement, how should clinicians represent possible outcomes to patients and their loved ones? Informed consent, access to care, and evolving social and cultural standards simultaneously produce and are produced by the limitations and possibilities of neuropsychological research and practice.