School of Behavioral Sciences
Bioethics, Criminal Justice, Mental Integrity, Neurointervention
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Whitaker, Haley Nicole, "Attitudes on Medical Ethics of Criminal Neurointerventional Treatment" (2018). Senior Honors Theses. 767.
As contemporary scientific advancements offer the opportunity to manipulate processes of the human body at a higher degree of invasiveness than ever before, a number of bioethical concerns are raised. One significant concern is how to discern the acceptable integration of advancements in neurologically-based interventions into the criminal justice system. Past literature supports the idea that there are several variables that interact to form a global conversation on the ethics of compromising a criminal’s freedom of mind for the purposes of sentencing or rehabilitation. Attitudes toward the current criminal justice system and the current uses of neurointerventions are significantly influential, and the public attitudes of such topics have been well-recorded through the literature. An experienced physician was interviewed in order to gain the perspective of a professional who regularly implements neurologically-based treatments. The results of the interview suggested that professionals have a moderate level of confidence that the current relationship between the criminal justice system and neurointerventional methods has generally remained within ethical boundaries. The results also suggested that medical practitioners are tasked with balancing the dignity and the safety patients, which can cause frequent ethical dilemmas. The varying responsibilities of medical professionals keep them equipped to implement expert-level care while simultaneously considering the ethical ramifications of their decisions.