AJOB Neuroscience.

Minimizing Harm in Psychiatric Treatment and Research

What do the two target articles in this issue—”What We Own the Psychopath: A Neuroethical Analysis” (Gillett and Huang 2013) and “Ethical Considerations in Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Addiction and Overeating Associated with Obesity” (Pisapia et al. 2013)—have in common? They each refer to ethical issues related to psychiatric treatment or research. Much has been written about the ethical concerns in medicine, protecting both the patient, and the subject in medical research. The common ethical for all of medicine, including psychiatric research and treatment, is “primum non nocere” or first do no harm. Many treatments, especially surgery, do result in temporary pain or discomfort. We owe our patients an explanation of what harm may occur, how long it will last, and how we can help ameliorate the harmful effects of our therapeutic efforts. We also owe our patients confidentiality, informed consent for all we do to and for them. We must demonstrate respect for patients through honesty, lack of coercion and striving to be unbiased irrespective of the patient’s diagnoses. […]

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Volume 4, Issue 2
May 2013

Target Articles.

Ethical Considerations in Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Addiction and Overeating Associated With Obesity Jared M. Pisapia, Casey H. Halpern, Ulf J. Muller, Piergiuseppe Vinai, John A. Wolf, Donald M. Whiting, Thomas A. Wadden, Gordon H. Baltuch & Arthur L. Caplan