Ethical guidance for the management of conflicts of interest for researchers, engineers and clinicians engaged in the development of therapeutic deep brain stimulation

J Neural Eng. 2011 Jun;8(3):033001. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/3/033001. Epub 2011 May 10.


The clinical promise of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for neuropsychiatric conditions is coupled with the potential for ethical conflicts of interest because the work is so heavily reliant upon collaborations between academia, industry and the clinic. To foster transparency and public trust, we offer ethical guidance for the management of conflicts of interest in the conduct of DBS research and practice so that this nascent field can better balance competing goods and engineer new and better strategies for the amelioration of human suffering. We also hope that our ethical analysis will be of relevance to those working with other related neuroprosthetic devices, such brain-computer interfaces and neural arrays, which naturally share many of the same concerns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering / ethics*
  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • Conflict of Interest*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Medical Staff / ethics*