Virtual Mentor November Issue: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century

The American Medical Association has a lovely little journal focused on ethics called Virtual Mentor.  Tthe title for this month’s issue is “Gray Matters: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century”, and it has a number of articles that are likely of interest to readers of this blog (full disclosure: the issue includes an article by me).

There is also was previously an ethics poll on the website which tells readers that “Modafinil is a drug that is FDA-approved for treatment of narcolepsy.”  The poll goes on to state “In widespread off-label use, it has been found to restore memory in older people who have age-associated memory loss (AAMI). Now the FDA is testing modafinil for that use.”  To the best of my knowledge, there is neither data nor compelling anectodal information which demonstrates that modifinil restores memory in older or younger individuals [Update I:  An early report suggested that modafinil improved performance in selected cognitive tasks in young individuals, but a recent meta-analysis holds that there are modest effects on attention, and that “the effects were not unequivocal for people in a normal state of wakefulness.”  Restorative effects on memory in older individuals have not been seen.] Moreover, the FDA does not test drugs, but rather acts as regulator, evaluating drugs for claims of safety and efficacy.  If any readers know of information which would suggest otherwise, please share it with us in the comments section.

Update II: Virtual Mentor has modified their ethics poll, dramatically improving it.  I recommend that readers participate.

Full table of contents are listed below the fold. 

Virtual Mentor. November 2010, Volume 12, Number 11: 839-907. Full Issue PDF

Gray Matters: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century

Neurology in the Postmodern Era
Joshua Tompkins
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:841-843.

EDUCATING FOR PROFESSIONALISM

Clinical Cases

Can Parents of a Child with Autism Refuse Treatment for Him?
Commentary by Margaret Moon
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:844-848.

“Doc, I Need a Smart Pill”—Requests for Neurologic Enhancement
Commentary by Dan Larriviere
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:849-853.

The Ethics of Diagnosing Nonepileptic Seizures with Placebo Infusion
Commentary by James L. Bernat
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:854-859.

The AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinions on Using Drugs and Surgery for Purposes Other than Treatment
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:860-863.

Journal Discussion

Guidelines for Prognostication and End-of-Life Decision Making for Newborns with Severe Neurologic Damage
Jay Desai
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:864-866.

Clinical Pearl

The Spectrum of Autism—From Neuronal Connections to Behavioral Expression
Carla A. Mazefsky and Nancy J. Minshew
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:867-872.

LAW, POLICY, AND SOCIETY

Health Law

The Future of Neuroimaging in Witness Testimony
Benjamin Bumann
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:873-878.

Policy Forum

Determining Brain Death—No Room for Error
James F. Bartscher and Panayiotis N. Varelas
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:879-884.

Medicine and Society

Distinguishing between Restoration and Enhancement in Neuropharmacology
Peter B. Reiner
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:885-888.

OP-ED AND CORRESPONDENCE

Op-Ed

Perspective Taking and Advance Directives
Donna T. Chen
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:893-897.

HISTORY, ART, AND NARRATIVE

Images of Healing and Learning

Images of the Creative Brain
Glenn R. Finney
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:889-892.

RESOURCES

Suggested Readings and Resources
PDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:898-904.

About the Contributors
Full TextPDF
Virtual Mentor. 2010; 12:905-907.

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One thought on “Virtual Mentor November Issue: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Virtual Mentor November Issue: Neuroethics in the Twenty-First Century « Neuroethics at the Core -- Topsy.com

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