Contextual and Cultural Perspectives on Neurorights: Reflections Toward an International Consensus

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 14 (4):360-368 (2023)
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Abstract

The development and use of advanced and innovative neuroscience, neurotechnology and some forms of artificial intelligence have exposed potential threats to the human condition, including human rights. As a result, reconceptualizing or creating human rights (i.e. neurorights) has been proposed to address specific brain and mind issues like free will, personal identity and cognitive liberty. However, perceptions, interpretations and meanings of these issues—and of neurorights—may vary between countries, contexts and cultures, all relevant for an international-consensus definition and implementation of neurorights. Thus, we encourage reflecting on the proactive inclusion of transnational, cross-cultural and contextual considerations and concerns to contribute to the global discourse. This inclusion does not mean endorsing ethical relativism but rather a call to foster a universal understanding of key concepts and concerns. Including contextual and cultural perspectives may truly anticipate global concerns which could be addressed while developing and implementing neurorights. Consequently, any ethical and/or legal regulatory framework(s) for the translational and transnational use of advanced neuroscience, neurotechnology and some forms of artificial intelligence intended to protect and safeguard human dignity should be contextually and culturally mindful, responsible, respectful and inclusive of not only human rights and fundamental freedoms but also of neurocognitive cultural diversity.

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