Advances in science and technology frequently raise new ethical, legal, and social issues, and developments in neuroscience and neuroimaging technology are no exception. Within the field of neuroethics, leading scientists, ethicists, and humanists are exploring the implications of efforts to image, study, treat, and enhance the human brain.
This article focuses on one aspect of neuroethics: the confidentiality and privacy implications of advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging (“fMRI”). Following a brief orientation to fMRI and an overview of some of its current and proposed uses, this article highlights key confidentiality and privacy issues raised by fMRI in the contexts of health care, research, employment, insurance, criminal justice, litigation, and cognitive privacy.
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