Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice: On the Scope of the Moral Right to Bodily Integrity

Tesink, V., Douglas, T., Forsberg, L., Ligthart, S. and Meynen, G., (2023), 'Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice: On the Scope of the Moral Right to Bodily Integrity', Neuroethics, Vol: 16(26) 


There is growing interest in the use of neurointerventions to reduce the risk that criminal offenders will reoffend. Commentators have raised several ethical concerns regarding this practice. One prominent concern is that, when imposed without the offender’s valid consent, neurointerventions might infringe offenders’ right to bodily integrity. While it is commonly held that we possess a moral right to bodily integrity, the extent to which this right would protect against such neurointerventions is as-yet unclear. In this paper, we will assess whether, why, and how severely three forms of neurointervention might infringe the right to bodily integrity. We show that the severity of the infringement of the right to bodily integrity differs across different forms of neurointervention. Moreover, we argue that mental and behavioral effects of neurointerventions could in some cases be relevant to determining the severity of infringements of the right to bodily integrity.


Part-funded by European Research Council 'Protecting Minds' grant 819757 (PI Professor Tom Douglas). Further information about the project and published papers can be found here.

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