The challenge of crafting policy for do-it-yourself brain stimulation

Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (5):410-412 (2015)
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Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a simple means of brain stimulation, possesses a trifecta of appealing features: it is relatively safe, relatively inexpensive and relatively effective. It is also relatively easy to obtain a device and the do-it-yourself (DIY) community has become galvanised by reports that tDCS can be used as an all-purpose cognitive enhancer. We provide practical recommendations designed to guide balanced discourse, propagate norms of safe use and stimulate dialogue between the DIY community and regulatory authorities. We call on all stakeholders—regulators, scientists and the DIY community—to share in crafting policy proposals that ensure public safety while supporting DIY innovation



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