Intervening in the Brain: Ethics and Neurosurgery
The wonder evoked by the term “brain surgery” is well-deserved. Neurosurgeons can clip an aneurysm and save a life; deep brain stimulation can alleviate disabling muscle tone disorders, control the tremors of Parkinson, and relieve intractable psychiatric symptoms. At the frontiers of neurosurgery lie interventions for treatment of cognitive and behavioral disorders and technological advances that will expand the scope and reach of neurosurgery and challenge the line between treatment and enhancement. Contributors to the January issue explore current and possible neurosurgical interventions and offer guidance for decision making under conditions of clinical and ethical uncertainty.