Purpose of review: The field of neuroethics is experiencing a great deal of activity at present, as researchers come to realize the potentially dramatic implications of new work in neuroscience and its applications. This review aims to describe some of the work of direct relevance to psychiatric ethics.
Recent findings: The review focuses on ethical issues surrounding the use of propranolol to treat or prevent posttraumatic stress disorder, issues concerning the capacity of the mentally ill to give informed consent to medical treatment and the potential social implications of cognitive enhancers and other interventions into the mind.
Summary: It is argued that psychiatric ethics would benefit from a consideration of cognate questions arising in neuroethics; in particular, neuroethics has the potential to remind psychiatrists that individual treatment decisions can have broad social implications.
- Cognitive enhancement
- Informed consent