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Ethics of enhancement technology

Objective

The main objective of this ETHENTECH project is to take substantially further forward both the ethical evaluation and public discussion of two important emerging fields of micro- and nanobiotechnology which pose very significant ethical and societal issues of public concern: neurological implants and the potential for human functional enhancement. Neural implants are a major new class of medical devices, which create an interface between nerve tissues and nano- or micro-scale probes. The aim is to enable a patient’s nervous system to communicate with new devices that replace or supplement a malfunctioning organ, for example to restore hearing or eyesight or to treat degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Human functional enhancement technology refers to a wide range of converging technologies which have the potential to enable significant modification of the systems of the human body, beyond what might be seen as medical purposes. The subjects of the ETHENTECH project address some of the most far-reaching fields among new and emerging technologies today - in terms of their potential social impact and the challenges these will pose to ethical issues and values of European citizens and societies. The project’s two fields of implant and human enhancement technologies both lack ethical frameworks and European and international guidelines. This absence reflects the emerging and complex nature of both areas. They also represent cases where issues of dual use are a significant and further complicating factor. While several EC and other projects have given useful overviews of the ethical terrain, it is clear that there is now a pressing need to engage in more depth with particular issues in order to focus ethical frameworks and guidelines around particular issues.

Field of science

  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/ethics
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/neurology/parkinson
  • /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/medical bioproducts/implants

Call for proposal

FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2008-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm
Sweden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 252 646
Administrative Contact
Pehr Halse (Mr.)

Participants (4)

EDINETHICS LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 191 526
Address
Dundonald Street 11 6
EH3 6RZ Edinburgh
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Donald Bruce (Dr.)
CAMBRIDGE BIOMEDICAL CONSULTANTS LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 24 265
Address
St John Street, C/o Westbury, 2Nd Floor 145-157
EC1V 4PY London
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
David John Bennett (Dr.)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE
France
EU contribution
€ 6 000
Address
Rue De Tolbiac 101
75654 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Hélène Brun
New Economics Foundation
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 25 452
Address
Jonathan Street 3
SE11 5NH London
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Perry Walker (Mr.)