24 T. M. Cooley L. Rev. 81 (2007)
Should There Be a Law - Brain Chips: Ethical and Policy Issues

handle is hein.journals/tmclr24 and id is 87 raw text is: SHOULD THERE BE A LAW? BRAIN CHIPS:
ETHICAL AND POLICY ISSUES
ELLEN M. MCGEE*
I. INTRODUCTION
In November 2006, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
advocated the creation of global safeguards to control the dangers inherent
in biotechnologies.' Francis Fukuyama and Franco Furger have recently
proposed a new approach to regulating human biotechnologies Yet these
initiatives are primarily concerned with controlling reprogenetics and forms
of biological terrorism.3 They do not address the need to manage the risks
inherent in new developments in the field of bioelectronics: brain implants
that involve creating interfaces between neural systems and computers.4
Regulation in this field is imperative because, in the not-so-distant
future, we will probably witness the emergence of humans who are
essentially coupled with bioelectronic devices-science fiction's cyborgs.
Innovations in semiconductor devices, cognitive science, bioelectronics,
nanotechnology, and applied neural-control technologies are facilitating
breakthroughs in these hybrids of humans and machines.5 This melding of
the organic and non-organic when employed for patients with sensory,
motor, or cognitive deficits is admirable, allowing those who are deaf, blind,
* Ellen M. McGee received her Ph.D. from Fordham University and taught
Philosophy and Medical Ethics for over twenty-five years as an Adjunct Professor
of Philosophy at C.W. Post College of Long Island University. She founded and is
Director Emerita of The Long Island Center for Ethics. Presently, she provides in-
service ethics education and writes and lectures on ethical issues in enhancement,
hospice ethics, suicide intervention, and reproductive technologies.
1. U.N. Leader Urges Biotech Safeguards, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 19, 2006,
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/world/19annan.html?ex=1 321592400&en=727
0c39d9d 1020e4&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss#.
2. FRANCIS FUKUYAMA & FRANCO FURGER, BEYOND BIOETHICS: A PROPOSAL
FOR MODERNIZING THE REGULATION OF HUMAN BIOTECHNOLOGIES 37, available at
http://biotechgov.org. This site allows the reader to request the URL from the
authors.
3. See id. at 1-24.
4. See id, at41.
5. See generally John P. Donoghue, Connecting Cortex to Machines: Recent
Advances in Brain Interfaces, 5 NATURE NEUROSCIENCE 1085 (2002), available at
http://www.nature.com/neuro/j oumalv5/n11s/pdf/nn947.pdf. Recent technological
advances will possibly lead to the creation of brain-machine-interface systems,
which will provide a control signal that restores natural movement of paralyzed
body parts. Id. at 1088.

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