Research Group on Neuroethics

Franz Gerstenbrand

Franz Gerstenbrand

Ethics in neurology are the  basis of all practical work  as well as for research  activities. In a critical analysis of  the used ethical principles, it has to  be stated that the contemporary ethical laws are missing different religious, traditional and cultural requirements. The contemporary ethics are based on the philosophy  of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle,  with the incorporation of the  Christian philosophy of Saint  Augustinus and Thomas Aquinas  and should be called Western  Ethics. But Western Ethics must  not be acceptable worldwide. The ARG Neuroethics decided to found  a task force with the aim to harmonize the ethical principles in  neurology including transcultural considerations. As members of the task force,  representatives of the Buddhism and  Hinduism, the Islamic and  Mosaic religions and the different Christian communities are invited.

As a continuous activity of  the ARG Neuroethics, the  organization of teaching courses  and informative workshops has to  be mentioned. The organizers  of neurological congresses and  symposia are asked to include  special lectures and training  courses in the program. The  great lack of ethical knowledge  in scientific reports about new  treatment programs or research  projects is shameful fact and has to  be strictly changed. A continuing ethical education is necessary.

The ARG Neuroethics is asking for more active cooperation and  for helpful support to follow the  education for a better knowledge  in ethical thinking and moral  responsibility. The aim for a  worldwide acceptable basis for  ethical principles in modern  neurology needs great knowledge and an intensive preparatory work in philosophical, moral and ethical issues.

Gerstenbrand is chairman of the Research Group on Neuroethics. He can be reached at