Law and Neuroscience
Will Neuroscience and Law Collide?Report from FENS Forum of Neuroscience
In his neuroethics lecture at the recent FENS forum, Steven Hyman described how what scientists have learned about conditions like schizophrenia and addiction suggests that they may strip a person’s agency, or “free will.” But data so far don’t yet reach the bar that law demands.
From Lab Bench to Court BenchUsing Science to Inform Decisions in Juvenile Court
Juvenile court judges are asked to determine what is in the best interest of the child in every case they hear. Until about a decade ago, court decisions were routinely made without taking into consideration the needs of toddlers and infants. The Miami Child Well-Being Court™ (MCWBC) program, a partnership of clinicians and judges, has brought science into the courtroom, making it integral to the decision-making process and working to ensure that the needs of the child are met. Complementary article to "Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain"
The Impact of Modern Neuroscience on Treatment of ParoleesEthical Considerations in Using Pharmacology to Prevent Addiction Relapse
Neuroscience is offering insights into addiction and providing scientists with pharmacological methods, such as the use of injectable naltrexone, for reducing relapse. Richard J. Bonnie, Donna T. Chen and Charles P. O’Brien consider the ethical and legal implications of different methods for administering naltrexone to convicted drug offenders.
A Fish Story? Brain Maps, Lie Detection, and Personhood
Despite progress in technologies such as “brain fingerprinting” and functional magnetic resonance imaging, neuroscientific lie detection is still a long way from commercial reality. For such a capability to be more than a sophisticated form of polygraphy, we must carefully work out our scientific concepts about deception and develop a better understanding of how minds work.
New Neuroscience, Old ProblemsLegal Implications of Brain Science
Neuroscience discoveries that increase our understanding and control of human behavior are being closely watched by professionals in the justice system. So far, the established notions of personhood and responsibility that underlie our morals, politics, and law have absorbed the new findings. But future neuroscience discoveries could change discrete evidentiary practices and doctrines and might well raise profound challenges to civil liberties.