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Conference–Implanting Change: The Ethics of Neural Prosthetics

When Aug 26, 2007 12:00 AM to
Aug 28, 2007 12:00 AM
Where The Nittany Lion Inn
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Implanting Change: The Ethics of Neural Prosthetics


August 26–28, 2007

The Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State

University Park, PA

This conference will provide an intensive dialogue among leading thinkers about the rapidly evolving ethical dilemmas related to neural implants. Recent years have seen considerable technical advances in neural implants—in particular, deep brain and cortical stimulators. Nevertheless, the ethical issues raised by this evolving technology have not yet been fully explored. What are the most pressing ethical issues for clinicians, researchers, and recipients of neural prosthetics? Are new human subjects protections required for neural prosthetics research? How should we weigh the risks and benefits for neural prosthetic therapies? Where does therapy end and enhancement begin? Are there enhancements which lie beyond the boundaries of medical care? What are the legal, ethical, economic, and social implications of neural prosthetics? These issues will be explored by leading experts in the fields of neuroscience and ethics.


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Martha Farah, University of Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Fins, Cornell University
  • Paul Ford, Cleveland Clinic
  • Henry T. "Hank" Greely, Stanford University
  • Benjamin Greenberg, Brown Medical School
  • Jaimie Henderson, Stanford University
  • Leigh Hochberg, Brown University
  • Jonathan H. Marks, Penn State
  • Isaac Mwase, Tuskegee University
  • Imad Najm, Cleveland Clinic
  • Steven Schiff, Penn State



The conference program is online at
research: sjs49: conference_on_ethics_of_neural_prosthetics

Open Session ~ Free to the Public
August 27, 2007 
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

What are the ethical, legal, economic, and social limits of neural prosthetics, and where are the boundaries of medical therapy?

Session Chair, Isaac Mwase, Tuskegee University

Part I: Economic and social limits on the medical use of brain stimulation
  • Kristen M. Hessler, SUNY, Albany 
    "Who Pays?"
  • Isaac Mwase, Tuskegee University 
    "Virtues and Vices in Neural Prosthetics Research"

Part II: Other ethical and legal perspectives

  • Jonathan H. Marks, Penn State 
    "Neural Prosthetics Research and Non-therapeutic Applications: International Human Rights Perspectives"
  • Henry T. "Hank" Greely, Stanford University 
    "Legal Constraints - Real and Potential - on Neural Prosthetics"
  • Kenneth C. Curley, U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 
    "Special Populations: Perspective from the Inside and Outside"
  • Martha Farah, University of Pennsylvania 
    "From Therapy to Enhancement"
This session is free and open to the public and does not require registration. The remainder of the conference is by registration only.

Call for Abstracts

If you wish to present your work at this conference, please send a 250 word abstract for a short oral or poster presentation (specifying which) by June 30. Notification of acceptance will be received by July 31.


Conference registration fee is $250 before August 7, and $300 thereafter.

Please print and mail or FAX the registration form to:

Ethics of Neural Prosthetics Registration
Engineering Continuing Education
301A Engineering Unit C
University Park, PA 16802

FAX: (814) 865-3969

  • Event sponsors include: